Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today that David Blatt has been released from his duties as head coach. Associate Head Coach Tyronn Lue has been named Head Coach. The current Cavaliers assistant coaches and staff remain under contract and will continue working with the team.
“On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank David Blatt for his efforts and commitment to this franchise,” said Griffin. “He spent the last year and a half battling intense scrutiny, working to mold a very willful group and we all recognize that is not at all an easy task.”
“But with that said, when you have the clarity of purpose that our ownership has instilled in this entire organization, decisions often make themselves. Every decision made is an answer to the following question: does it put us in the best position to deliver Championships to Northeast, Ohio.”
“So, today, we are elevating Tyronn Lue, from his role as Associate Head Coach to Head Coach. I am more than confident that he will have the pulse of our team and the buy-in required to enhance the habits and culture that will foster the kind of identity and results we must have.”
Blatt was named the 19th head coach in Cavaliers history on June 20, 2014. During his one and half seasons as head coach, Blatt compiled a regular season record of 83-40 and a 14-6 mark in last year’s playoffs.
“Over the course of my business career I have learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing to do,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers. “Our ownership group supports David Griffin’s decision. We would like to thank David Blatt for his work over these past two seasons where the Cavaliers transformed into a playoff team after a rebuilding phase. We believe Tyronn Lue is the right coach at the right time to put us in the best position to take the last but most challenging step to complete our mission to deliver Cleveland an NBA Championship.”
Lue is in his second season with the Cavs after being hired as the associate head coach in June 2014. He was previously an assistant coach on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, who captured the Pacific Division title with a 57-25 record in 2013-14. Prior to the Clippers, Lue spent four seasons as a member of Rivers’ Boston Celtics staff, the last two as an assistant coach. He began his time in Boston as the Director of Basketball Development in 2009-10.
Originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Lue played 11 seasons in the NBA, appearing in 554 career games with the Lakers, Washington, Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas and Milwaukee. The former University of Nebraska star won NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001 with the Lakers.