Ex-player Tyronn Lue to become highest paid assistant coach in NBA?

tyronn-lue-coachAfter interviewing several former NBA players for coaching job, the Cleveland Cavs have hired Tyronn Lue as one of assistant coaches on the team.

Lue, who had two interviews during Cleveland’s recent coaching search but didn’t get the job, was hired as an associate head coach on new Cavs coach David Blatt’s staff.

General manager David Griffin was impressed with Lue as he looked for a coach, and believes the former Los Angeles Clippers assistant can help the Cavs rebound from a tough season.

“Ty could play a key role in our team’s future success, he fits our culture and vision for the franchise,” Griffin said.

“His successful experience as both a player and coach is going to help us tremendously. Tyronn Lue joining Coach Blatt’s staff is more than exciting to all of us here in Cleveland. The leadership and knowledge of Ty is going to be critically important as we move into a new era of competitive Cavaliers basketball,” he added.

Lue was one of the finalists to get the Cleveland job before it went to Blatt, who signed a three-year contract with a fourth year club option. The 55-year-old Blatt has never coached in the NBA – or the U.S. – so bringing in a coach with Lue’s experience will help him and give the Cavs an insurance policy.

Lue played guard for 11 seasons with seven NBA teams, appearing in 554 NBA games (started in 173), averaging 8.5 ppg, 3.1 apg in 22.7 mpg.

He won NBA titles as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000 and 2001. Lue spent the past five years working on Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston and Los Angeles and is regarded as one of the league’s rising young coaches.

”Through numerous discussions with David and Griff, I felt Cleveland is a great situation for me,” Lue said. ”I believe my background will help me play a key part in helping achieve the vision that the leadership of this franchise has for its team. I can’t wait to get to work with Coach Blatt and our players.”

According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Cavs will be paying Lue like a head coach to be David Blatt’s assistant – his four-year, $6.5 million deal might be the richest assistant-coaching contract in the history of professional sports.

To leave Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers to join coach David Blatt’s staff with the Cavaliers, Lue agreed to a four-year, $6.5 million deal, sources said.

The contract’s final two years will pay Lue $1.75 million and $2 million, league sources said. The fourth year of the deal is a team option, sources said.

Cavaliers management grew fond of Lue during the interview process for the head-coaching job that ultimately went to Blatt and immediately pursued him for the associate head-coaching job. Rivers didn’t want to lose Lue from his Clippers staff, but the Cavaliers’ historic financial commitment made it impossible to turn down, sources said.


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