Though problems with the Cavaliers’ chemistry existed beneath the surface, it was sometimes tough to tell based on the positive outlooks given by Blatt and superstar LeBron James in most of their interviews.
New coach Tyronn Lue, however, seems to have a different approach. Here’s a sampling of his media Q&A session at Saturday morning’s shootaround ahead of Cleveland’s primetime matchup with the Chicago Bulls:
Tyronn Lue on what he’ll do differently than Blatt: “I wouldn’t say ‘differently,’ I would say ‘better.'”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 23, 2016
Tyronn Lue said he got 716 text messages. “It was a good day for me, but a bad day for Blatt.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 23, 2016
Lue says he wants to use Love more at elbow and put him in spots where he’s comfortable
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) January 23, 2016
Tyronn Lue, when told that the pressure is really on him to win: “Or I’ll be next. I know.” — Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 23, 2016
If nothing else, the 38-year-old Lue scored points with the media for his honesty. He thinks he can improve upon Blatt’s performance, and he’s willing to recognize the perilous nature of his own position, given what just transpired. All of that is perfectly logical, but it runs contrary to the “politically correct” comments delivered by many of the league’s players and coaches in public settings.
Chris Haynes, who reports on the Cavaliers for Cleveland.com and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was one of many to show appreciation for Lue’s candor.
Tyronn Lue came off confident, transparent and authentic. He has full support of locker room. We’ll see how it plays out. — Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 23, 2016
Lue already seems to have won over the media. Beginning with Saturday night’s game, it’s now time to see if the former NBA point guard can work similar magic on the Cavaliers’ locker room.
Ben DuBose is a veteran sports reporter who has followed the Houston Rockets and the NBA since Hakeem Olajuwon was Akeem Olajuwon. He writes for both SheridanHoops and ClutchFans, an independent Rockets blog. You can follow him on Twitter.