In a move that shocked the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.), the Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Tyronn Lue after an 0-6 start to the 2018 season.
Just six games into an era without N.B.A. superstar Lebron James, the Cavaliers thought it was best to make a change with their coach, who is also a native of Mexico, Mo.
“My time here in Cleveland was truly special,” Lue said in his statement. “I am very grateful for the dedication, sacrifice and support of all the players on our team, the tremendous coaches I’ve worked with and of course, our incredible fans.”
He received support from James on Twitter.
“T Lue thanks for the memories and more importantly our partnership bringing a (championship) to that deserved city/fan base,” James said. “U know how to find me.”
In March, Lue put his hometown back in the national spotlight when his team won the Eastern Conference Championship with a win over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the conference finals.
During a postgame interview with Doris Burke, Lue first answered a question on how his team went from a roster overhaul back to the NBA Finals.
He quickly followed it by saying…“but first I want to give a shout out to Kansas City, Missouri, you know that. To Mexico, Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, my people back home…”
Lue followed by giving recognition to his assistant coaches. He also talked about the contribution of who many consider the greatest player in the NBA, LeBron James.
In his first season as the Cavaliers’ coach back in 2016, he gave Mexico, Missouri two big shout outs after his team won their first ever NBA title. Burke responded that time by saying “two shout outs for Mexico. Congratulations.”
Lue was later asked by an Akron, Ohio newspaper reporter if Mexico, Missouri was going to sleep that night after the big shout out.
“Probably not,” Lue said with a smile in 2016. “I’m just so proud man of where I’ve come from. It’s just crazy that a guy from a small town, Mexico, Missouri, you know, it was more people in the stands tonight, double, than there is in my hometown. You know we have 11,000 people in my hometown and you’ve got 22,000 there in the arena tonight. It’s just an unbelievable feeling. I’m just happy that a small town boy can do some positive. Shows other kids that there is hope, there is time to grow as a person and time to do the right thing…”