Lue, a longtime point guard in the NBA, emerged as a top candidate for the Cavaliers’ head coaching vacancy in 2014 before eventually joining the team as an assistant.
Here’s a brief overview of the new man in charge of the Cavaliers.
Lue was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd pick in the 1998 NBA draft after playing three seasons at Nebraska. On draft night, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers along with Tony Battie in exchange for Nick Van Exel.
In three seasons with the Lakers, he played on two championship teams in a limited role. He is remembered for guarding Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson in the 2001 NBA Finals and getting stepped over after an iconic jumpshot.
After seeing action in 15 playoff games with the Lakers during their 2000–01 title run, Lue played just three more over the course of his career. He spent time with the Wizards, Magic, Rockets, Hawks, Mavericks and Bucks. He had his best season in 2004–05 with the Hawks, averaging 13.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
In Los Angeles, Lue helped Doc Rivers lead the Clippers to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the West. After advancing past the Warriors 4–3 in the first round, they were bounced by the Thunder in six games in the second round.
In the summer of 2014, Lue emerged as a candidate for the Cavaliers’ head coaching vacancy. After the team announced David Blatt as its head coach, Lue signed one of the most lucrative assistant coaching deals in the NBA, worth $6.5 million over four years. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, were pushing for Lue to get the head job.
“It was huge honestly ... That’s why we’re a unit, we’re a team ... Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes,” James said about Lue pulling back Blatt.
After a 30–11 start to the 2015–16 season, Blatt was fired by the Cavaliers, and Lue was given the job shortly after.