All the rumors, tweets and information from the last 24 hours says the LeBron James may indeed be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. None of it is from what would be considered a sports reporter. No WOJBOMB. Nothing from Windy, Broussard or Amico. Instead it has been a trainer, a friend, an artist that shares Rich Paul, etc. Yet could Tyronn Lue be a key piece in getting LeBron James to return?
Lue was in the running for the head coaching job during the Cavs coaching search, until they decided on David Blatt to take the role. At that time there was an interesting article from Omaha.com, Lue played at Nebraska, that linked Lue and James together. At that time James seemed like a long shot at best. Today, with the odds seeming more like 50/50, we revisit that article and what it could mean for James.
Lue is very good friends with LeBron James. And it’s no secret that the Cavs are dying to re-recruit the Miami Heat star back to Cleveland someday, which Lue could help facilitate.
He arranged private aircraft for Lue to fly to game three of the NBA Finals to watch James and the Cavaliers face San Antonio; then another jet to Lincoln for Lue to play in the Husker golf event; then another jet back to Cleveland for game four.
More recently, Lue owned a mansion in Las Vegas where James has been known to hang out.
Don’t let stories about private jets, big homes and famous friends give you the idea that Lue is some overbearing show-off. He’s far from it.
Lue, in his three seasons at Nebraska, was the most serious student of basketball I’ve covered. He never drank, never smoked, trained hard and moved seamlessly into the role of leader.
Wow huge connections. Before we move forward we understand that James has a lot of connections and does a lot of good things for people. Far more people probably say they are close to James then James says he is close with. Yet those are some significant connections between the two. Arranging a private jet for someone? Hanging out at their house in Las Vegas?
The last piece of information may be a bigger key. Lue’s ability as a student of the game has to draw James, a big student of the game. James’ close friend Chris Paul played under Lue and has a good understanding of his talent and knowledge. It is likely that Paul has spoken about Lue’s prowess as a coach to James.
Could it be that the 6 foot tall, skinny point guard who was most famous for his cornrows and being stepped over by Allen Iverson is a key to LeBron James returning to Cleveland? Sure it is possible. Yet we know that James is looking at the big picture and will only make decisions based on a holistic view of the Cavs and other teams. Lue’s presence though certainly can’t hurt.
What do you think of this connection? Big deal or nothing?