The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the most formidable teams in the NBA. Coaching a team with three All-Stars might sound like an easy task — a dream job to some, but Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue says it’s the hardest job he’s had.
“It’s the hardest job, by far,” Lue said on ESPN’s NBA Lockdown podcast earlier this week. “It’s the hardest job. But I’ve been through a lot of tough things in my life anyway, and I just try not to listen to the outside noise — to the media and what they have to say. As long as I have the support of (Cavs general manager) David Griffin, (principal owner) Dan Gilbert, my players, the city of Cleveland, the state of Ohio, as long as I have that support, that’s all that matters.”
Coach Lue goes on to say that the difficulty in coaching the Cavs isn’t about winning or losing. Rather, the second-year head coach says it’s more about the scrutiny that comes with the job.
“When I was a player, probably about seven to eight years ago, I’m trying to attack every reporter that said something,” Lue said. “But now I’ve come to the realization that it’s not worth it. People are going to say what they have to say, and they got to sell books or they got to sell stories. They have to do it. That’s their job.”
“But it’s just, I don’t like it when they make stuff up. … If I didn’t do a good job or I didn’t do something (correctly), then I understand that. That’s your job. You got to write it. But when you make stuff up, that’s the part that I don’t get that kind of makes me mad.”
Lue, who took over the Cavaliers’ head coaching job in January of 2016, explained that he just doesn’t like a lot of media attention.
“I don’t like the media attention. That’s why this job is just so tough because you’re out in front all the time,” Lue said. “It’s tough because whatever you say, if you say one wrong thing — especially leading this team — it goes viral. It’s a big deal. That’s why in the huddles, a lot of times when we’re miked up, I never say anything. When the camera comes over there and they’re all like, you got to talk to the team like, ‘You gotta (this and that)!’ Our team? They don’t want to hear that anyway.”
“Last year and probably the year before when coach (David Blatt) was here, I just got so caught up in trying to be perfect and do the right thing every single time that you never take time for yourself or you never have time to enjoy it, and I think this year, I think you can see I’m kind of different,” Lue said. “I’m enjoying it more. I’m trying to enjoy it more and not let the outside noise get to me. … (coach Drew) taught me how to just take a step back and you got to live and take time for you and enjoy it, and if you don’t, it will kill you.”