Blatt was hired to coach the Cavaliers in June 2014, the month before LeBron James announced he would return to play for the team after playing four seasons for the Miami Heat. He led the team to the NBA Finals in his first season, losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games. Lue was named associate head coach in June 2014 as well.
Lue, a former professional journeyman guard, made headlines during the 2001 NBA Finals as a member of the championship-winning Los Angeles Lakers when he was assigned to cover legendary Philadelphia 76ers guard – and Reebok-sponsored athlete – Allen Iverson.
The Cavaliers are the Eastern Conference’s best team, sitting atop the conference with a 30-11 record. Cleveland is 3.5 games ahead of the 27-15 second-place Toronto Raptors.
Cleveland is the home of James and superstar guard Kyrie Irving, two of Nike’s sponsored basketball players. James is currently averaging 25 points, 6.2 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game this season; Irving is averaging 16.1 points, 3.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.
James’ latest signature shoe with Nike, the LeBron 13, debuted at retail on Oct. 10, and the second Nike signature shoe for Irving, the Kyrie 2, hit stores on Dec. 15.