Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday that Tyronn Lue has signed a multi-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to become their next head coach. This comes right after the Cavs fired David Blatt, even after he had gone 83-40 as the team's head coach (about a 67.5% winning percentage...). This marks a steep and quick rise for the former Clippers' assistant. Lue is now the second youngest coach in the NBA: only behind J.B. Bickerstaff (who is actually only an "interim" head coach). The details of Lue's new contract are still unclear.
While it's definitely great to see Lue have success and get this position, it's definitely worth wondering whether he is in a position to actually succeed. As noted, Blatt had a pretty damn good win-loss record and yet he was still fired. There have been tons of rumors and stories out there about how Blatt couldn't control the locker room and essentially was over his head. It's hard to see how Lue will be able to avoid a similar fate. While his connection to the NBA goes deeper than Blatt, he's still a rookie coach. Without a proven track record, there cannot be an expectation that LeBron James will actually give Lue any deference on any decision, play, or opinion. Does anyone seriously think Lue is going to clash with LBJ? People can knock Doc Rivers all they want, but he can still point to his championship ring at the end of the day and command some respect. (it also helps that the Clippers don't have to deal with player drama even remotely close to what the Cavs have had. Thank you Chris Paul and Blake Griffin for being level headed.)
Good luck to Tyronn Lue in his new coaching gig. May his head coaching career be long and successful (when he's not facing the Clippers).