Despite sporting a career 2-1 record as a head coach, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Tyronn Lue will lead the East team on Feb. 14 in the NBA All-Star Game, per Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group.
Lue took over Jan. 22 after the Cavaliers (30-11 at the time) fired former coach David Blatt. He is eligible to coach because Cleveland sports the conference's best record.
The NBA released a statement on the guidelines regarding who can coach in the game, via Fred Katz of FoxSports.com: "Head coaches whose teams have the best records in each conference following the games played two weeks prior to the All-Star Game serve as the All-Star Game head coaches, but no head coach is allowed to participate in two consecutive All-Star Games."
That makes Lue eligible and means he'll be coaching against a Western Conference team featuring Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who will play in his 18th and final All-Star Game. Per Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com, it makes for an interesting factoid:
There is the potential for three of Lue's former teammates to be playing in the exhibition, per Matt Moore of CBSSports.com:
Lue is honored to have such a privilege, per Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Gregg Popovich will be Lue's counterpart on the Western Conference squad. The San Antonio Spurs head coach has just a few more NBA games under his belt, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:
By the time the game rolls around, Lue will be the most inexperienced All-Star coach ever, per ESPN Stats & Info:
It's a rare situation for Lue to be in, but it's not his fault. He's the current head coach of the East's best team despite what some view as the untimely firing of Blatt. One of his players, forward Kevin Love, jokingly pointed out Lue's impressive coaching record, per Lloyd:
It's not as if the All-Star Game is overflowing with strategy. The best players in the world are on the court at the same time, and they try to entertain the fans with dunks, no-look passes and deep three-pointers, meaning defense—and even coaches—takes a backseat.
If anyone understands the players on these rosters, it's the 38-year-old Lue, even if it's because he's played against or with a few of them.