The Cleveland Cavaliers have a coach — for Tuesday night.
Top assistant Larry Drew, who was expected to take over after Cleveland fired Tyronn Lue, said Monday he is not the team’s interim coach but is merely “the voice right now” as the Cavs prepare to host Atlanta.
Drew said his agent is in talks with the Cavs about restructuring his contract and is not making any long-term commitment until an agreement is reached.
Lue was fired Sunday by general manager Koby Altman, who was disappointed with the team’s 0-6 start and parted ways with the only coach to win a pro sports championship in Cleveland since 1964.
Altman praised Lue but said, “We just didn’t think Coach Lue was the right fit for this group. We wanted to go in a different direction, a different coach and a different voice.”
The Cavs are struggling to adjust following the departure of three-time champion LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.
James on Monday was reluctant to comment on his former team’s situation but still spoke positively of the four seasons he spent with Lue in Cleveland, which included a championship 2016 season.
“Really, I don’t have much of a reaction because I don’t really want to be in the news today about it, other than playing the Timberwolves,” James said. “I know that whatever I say about this situation would get the first beat.
“So, I had three and a half, four great years with Coach Lue and that team that we was able to put together. And he put us in position to win. He put us in position to succeed. And then more importantly, all the onus is on the players. He gave us the responsibility to go out and do what we need to do to win ballgames. And that led us to three, while he was at the helm, three Eastern Conference finals, three Finals, one championship.
“So, I got nothing but good stuff to talk about T-Lue, but that whole situation is beyond me.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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