When Tyronn Lue took over for the fired David Blatt halfway through the 2015-16 season, he also gave the Cavs a verbal commitment on a three-year, $9.5 million extension. But, he didn’t actually sign on the dotted line. It was a cagey move that was rewarded this summer when he eventually did sign a five-year, $35 million extension after leading the Cavs to their first NBA title in franchise history.
But the rationale to hold off on signing the deal during the season is exactly why he’s got the perfect demeanor for the current defending champions. And it wasn’t a power play, like it might look on the surface.
“I wanted to make sure it was the right fit,” Lue told the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Joe Vardon in a recent phone interview.
Tyronn ended up betting on himself and winning, both literally and figuratively, but it wasn’t an attempt to leverage more money out of the team. No, Lue just didn’t know if he wanted the obligatory spotlight that comes with coaching a team with LeBron James and a cast of other media-dominant personnel.
“I hate being on TV, hate dealing with media on TV,” Lue told Vardon. “All that stuff, I don’t like that. Being with LeBron, who draws all kinds of attention, I knew I was going to see myself on TV. I hate that. I like to fly under radar. I wanted to make sure the fit was right.”
The fit isn’t just right, it’s perfect.