Ty Lue: Coaching LeBron James 'Always a Story' but He 'Never Cussed a Coach Out'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, front right, talks with LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

After having coached LeBron James for two-plus seasons, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue can teach the Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton a thing or two about what to expect.

To put it simply, having LaVar Ball watching over the team is nothing compared to the pressures of having James on the roster.

"If he happens to wear a different shoestring, it's, 'What's wrong with Bron?'" Lue told The Athletic's Bill Oram. "If he happens to wear a different wristband, 'What's wrong with Bron?' It's always a story."

And while he draws attention for taking over huddles or overruling coaches, the four-time NBA MVP always handled things professionally in Cleveland.

"I mean, [he] never cussed a coach out. Never," Lue said of LeBron. "Sometimes there will be disagreements—that's just part of the game—but he's respectful, does things the right way."

In other words, Walton shouldn't have to worry about having soup thrown at him.

However, he will have to adjust to the newfound expectations. While his young Lakers core had steadily improved over the last few seasons, the team has averaged just 25 wins during a five-year playoff drought. James, meanwhile, has made it to eight consecutive NBA Finals and won three titles in the process.

Every loss will now be dissected like never before—even for someone who was coaching a record-setting, 73-win Golden State Warriors team a few years ago as an assistant.

Lue made it clear outside noise is the biggest issue:

"I just told him about Bron, how easy he is. You've got to ask Luke about the stuff we talked about—I don't want to put that out there—but just [that] Bron's easy, man. It’s not what it seems. ... If he has a problem or disagrees with you, he's going to talk to you. He's not going to make a big scene or blow up. Occasionally you see him [upset] on the bench, but ... people blow it out of proportion, like it's something crazy. ... It's just the surrounding s--t that they try to make it hard."

Lue, of course, has James to thank for helping him become a championship coach when the Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit against Walton and the Warriors in the 2016 Finals.

When Walton took the Lakers gig, he did so with the mindset that he was going to have to focus on developing young talent. Now that James is in purple and gold, he must adapt and figure out how to handle the circus that comes with the territory.


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