Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. surprised by Tyronn Lue’s firing

With change made, Cavs attention returns to basketball

Daryl Ruiter
October 30, 2018 - 1:27 pm
Larry Drew Cleveland Cavaliers

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Nearly 48 hours have passed and the shock that followed Tyronn Lue’s firing is still wearing off the Cavaliers.

“I was very surprised,” rookie guard Collin Sexton said Tuesday morning during the team’s shootaround.

Sexton and his family are close with Lue, but now he and the rest of his teammates have a job to do with 76 games remaining on what is shaping up to be a very long season.

“Nobody envisioned it like this,” Sexton said. “We tried to come in and win games but we started off with a rough start. We just gotta pick it up.”

Following four consecutive trips to The Finals – three of them led by Lue – times have changed. LeBron James is in Los Angeles and even after extending Kevin Love’s contract this offseason, the change in direction for the franchise meant Lue no longer fit.  

“You hate to see that happen,” Larry Nance Jr., said during the team’s shootaround Tuesday morning. “Obviously we all loved coach Lue and personally I was a big fan of him. But that’s the nature of the beast. That’s this business and it can happen with coaches, GMs as well as us players.

“It’s been a bit of a transition phase as we’re trying to listen to a new voice in the gym and try to keep moving forward.”

The question remains, who are they transitioning to?

Larry Drew was named the interim coach Sunday, but Monday said he was simply the “voice” of the team – for now – unless his contract gets worked out. Drew is seeking additional financial security and a commitment from the organization, which may or may not be willing to provide that.

“It’s tough, things happen,” rookie Collin Sexton said. “I just gotta continue to work on my game and build with teammates and try to win, especially [Tuesday] night. We gotta get this win.”

Tuesday night the Cavs host the Atlanta Hawks, who ran them off the floor by 22 behind Trae Young’s 35 points, during the home opener at Quicken Loans Arena.

“To me nothing changes,” Nance said. “My job is one thing: just to do all I can to help us win and that’s all I’m concerned with right now.”

The Cavaliers are off to their worst start at 0-6 since the 1995-96 season when they started 0-7.

“I’m not going to forget the first 6 games and I don’t think anybody should,” Nance said. “That’s disappointing. I’m using it as motivation as should everybody else.

“Yes, it is a new chapter, but at the same time, within the same book.”