Tyronn Jamar Lue (/tɪˈrɒn ˈljuː/, born May 3, 1977) is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He most recently served as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The point guard was selected out of the University of Nebraska by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft and was traded shortly thereafter to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won two NBA Championships in his first three seasons.
After his playing career ended in 2009, Lue become Director of Basketball Development for the Boston Celtics. In 2014, he was hired by the Cavaliers as associate head coach and was promoted to head coach mid-season in 2015–16, replacing the fired David Blatt. That same season, Lue led the Cavaliers to their first NBA championship and became one of the few rookie coaches in the NBA to ever lead his team to a title.
Lue with the Cavaliers in 2016
|Born||May 3, 1977|
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Raytown (Raytown, Missouri)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23rd overall|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|1998–2001||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2011–2013||Boston Celtics (assistant)|
|2013–2014||Los Angeles Clippers (assistant)|
|2014–2016||Cleveland Cavaliers (associate HC)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||4,710 (8.5 ppg)|
|Rebounds||943 (1.7 rpg)|
|Assists||1,727 (3.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Lue attended Raytown Senior High School in Raytown, Missouri. He later went to University of Nebraska. He played basketball and studied sociology. He was a key member of the 1995-96 team that won the NIT, defeating St. Joseph's in the finals. He finished his Nebraska career ranked third all-time in assists (432), fourth in three-pointers made (145) and attempted (407), fifth in steals (154) and seventh in scoring (1,577). Declaring for the NBA draft after his junior season, he led the Cornhuskers in assists in each of his three seasons and finished his career tied with Dave Hoppen for most games with 30 or more points (7).
Lue opted for early entry into the 1998 NBA draft. He was selected 23rd overall by the Denver Nuggets but was traded on draft night to the Los Angeles Lakers with Tony Battie in exchange for Nick Van Exel. His first three years with the Lakers were disappointing. His playing time was limited and he suffered from injuries in 2000. But Lue excelled in the 2001 playoffs. Due to his quickness, he was specifically used to guard Allen Iverson during Game 1 of the Finals. The Lakers lost Game 1, but swept the next four games, giving them the second of three consecutive titles.
In the off-season of 2001, Lue signed with the Washington Wizards, where he got considerably more playing time and subsequently became a better point guard. He played with the Orlando Magic in 2003–04 and had a lot of minutes alongside Tracy McGrady, but the team had the worst record in the NBA that season: 21–61. After the season concluded, Lue, McGrady, Juwan Howard, and Reece Gaines were traded to the Houston Rockets for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. In Houston, Lue saw a notable decrease in playing time due to the overabundance of point guards on the Rockets' roster, and was subsequently traded mid-season to the Atlanta Hawks for Jon Barry. Lue starred in Atlanta, although again his team had the worst record in the NBA and their worst record in franchise history: 13–69.
On February 16, 2008, Lue was acquired by the Sacramento Kings in a trade with the Hawks. He was waived by the Kings on February 28, 2008. After clearing waivers, Lue signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks on March 4.
On February 5, 2009, Lue was traded back to the Magic in exchange for Keith Bogans and cash considerations. In his final year as an NBA player, the Dwight Howard-led Magic advanced to the 2009 Finals but lost to Lue's former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
On June 23, 2014, Lue joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as associate head coach, making him the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA in the process. Lue had been a top candidate for the Cavs' head coaching job, which eventually went to David Blatt.
On May 19, 2016, the Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, continuing their unbeaten streak in the 2016 playoffs and making Lue the first coach in NBA history to win his first 10 postseason games. Eight days later, Lue led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in his first year of coaching, becoming one of the few coaches to make it to the Finals after replacing a head coach during the regular season. On June 19, 2016, the Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship, with Lue becoming the second rookie coach in consecutive seasons to win the title, the third person to become champion as a mid-season replacement coach (after Paul Westhead in 1979–80, and Pat Riley in 1981–82, also his rookie coaching season), and the 14th person to win an NBA championship as a head coach and player.
In the 2016–17 NBA season, Lue coached the Cavaliers to a 51–31 record. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers went 12–1 heading into the 2017 NBA Finals before losing to the Golden State Warriors in five games.
On March 19, 2018, Lue announced that he would take a leave of absence from coaching the Cavaliers, citing chest pain as one of the recurring problems. Lue returned to coach before the regular season ended and helped the Cavaliers reach the 2018 NBA Finals where they lost to the Warriors in four games.
Lue's coaching style relies on flexibility and James's consistency while shuffling players around him to adjust to matchups. In the 2015 Finals as an assistant to David Blatt, the Cavaliers used a large front court and a slow pace to win surprise victories in games 2 and 3. In 2016, his finals team followed the Warriors' own blueprint to beat them. His style has been described as undisciplined and unprepared in the regular season, but in the playoffs he has been praised for his ability to "think several moves ahead and create matchup advantages."
At the 2016 ESPY Awards, Lue was named Best Coach/Manager, and the Cavs were named Best Team. In honor of his achievements, a portion of Walnut Street in Lue's hometown of Mexico, Missouri, was renamed Tyronn Lue Boulevard.
On October 28, 2018, the Cavaliers fired Lue after a 0–6 start of the season.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Lue won an NBA championship|
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Cleveland||2015–16||41||27||14||.659||1st in Central||21||16||5||.762||Won NBA Championship|
|Cleveland||2016–17||82||51||31||.622||1st in Central||18||13||5||.722||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Cleveland||2017–18||82||50||32||.610||1st in Central||22||12||10||.545||Lost in NBA Finals|
Lue is a cousin to current Boston Celtics small forward, Jayson Tatum on Lue's grandfather's side of the family. Lue and Tatum's father Justin also share a mutual friend in former NBA guard, Larry Hughes. As a native of St. Louis, Tatum grew up within two hours of Lue's hometown of Mexico, Missouri and often attended his family barbecues.