Cleveland, Ohio — Most of the sports world was caught off-guard this morning with the main news of the day: the Cleveland Cavaliers sudden firing of head coach Tyronn Lue. For many reasons, the timing just didn’t make a lot of sense.
Let’s be very honest: did the organization really think that losing LeBron would not have an effect on their start to the season? James is the greatest force in the game currently, and possibly all-time, so it was naive if the Cavs thought that somehow they wouldn’t take some serious lumps — especially early on in the season. However, that’s for another column.
This column is about why they decided to make the change. Multiple sources tell The Ball Out, that Cleveland Cavaliers GM Koby Altman gave specific instructions to Lue to not put the veterans in the rotation: Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, etc. Once the losses starting piling on, Lue became frustrated and decided to go with the proven veterans. Moreover, if anyone knows anything about Lue, he’s fiercely loyal to a proven commodity.
With Lue making this change, and essentially defying the orders of Altman, it was inevitable that a showdown of hostility was near. Understand that Altman is one of the younger GMs in the NBA, who was handed the position after Chauncey Billups turned down Gilbert’s offer to become GM. So, once Lue became essentially a insubordiante in Altman’s eyes, he became angered with his head coach and was going to reassert his authority.
That’s what led to this Lue’s firing today. When Lue went back to the veterans, and the losses still continued, Altman made the decision to let him go immediately. Sources also state that Altman wasn’t trusted by some in the building.
Change coming in Berea?
While the main story in Cleveland on a Sunday are the Cavaliers (think about that for a second), there’s another one perculating in the background: are the Browns looking to make a change? Yes, multiple sources tells The Ball Out. A change could come as early as this evening, and it could be head coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Todd Haley or both.
Time will tell, but there’s one guarantee: Cleveland sure keeps things interesting.