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Tyronn Lue Comments on Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love's Focus on Their 'Brand'

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, left, talks with Kevin Love during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2017

Tyronn Lue hasn't wasted any time attempting to change the culture since becoming the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach last week, and that has included challenging two of the team's biggest stars.   

According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, David Blatt's replacement urged Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to focus on buying into the team concept rather than worrying about personal accomplishments:

With our young stars, with Kyrie and Kevin, they're young, so it's still about their brand and different things, it's just way different.

[...]

I talked to our team about, 'if you win, everybody's brand is better.' If you win as a unit, everybody gets credit for it. Just trying to keep instilling that in our guys because, you know, we still have a young group of guys. Just gotta keep instilling that message. If we win, everybody's taken care of, so that's the message.

Lue pointed toward LeBron James' time in Miami as an example of what he hopes to see his team develop into. Once Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to defer to LeBron, that is when Lue believes the Heat became a championship-caliber team: "You gotta think about that. That's real sacrifice for a guy who's won a championship, it was Wade county, and then have to turn the keys over to LeBron James when it was always your team."

Per Vardon, Irving insisted that he and Love have already committed themselves to playing winning basketball rather than focusing on individuality:

Me and Kev will do a great job with adjusting to it, but our brands are the last thing we're worried about. If Kevin was worried about his brand, I don't think Kevin would've came back. And for me to sign here, it was for a legitimate reason and we have a bigger goal at hand that we want to accomplish. That's always coming first.

The Cavs are 1-1 since Lue took over, and they are 31-12 overall, which gives them a 2.5-game cushion over the second-place Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference.

While most fully expect Cleveland to reach the NBA Finals, the true test will be defeating a team such as the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs to win a championship.

The Cavaliers certainly seem to have the talent needed to do so, but general manager David Griffin clearly felt as though there was a missing element, which led to Blatt's dismissal.

Lue hasn't hesitated to ruffle feathers, and if the likes of Irving and Love respond positively to that, the coaching change may prove to be precisely the shake-up the Cavs needed.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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