Larry Drew was unwilling to accept the interim head coach label from the Cleveland Cavaliers without a restructured contract. Now he might not have a seat on the bench at all.
Talks between Drew’s agent and the Cavaliers stalled on Tuesday night, ESPN reported, as Drew led the team against the Atlanta Hawks. With no adjustment to his existing $1 million deal as associate head coach, the Cavaliers would be putting the ball in Drew’s court to either coach under his existing deal or walk away. Drew said Tuesday night he would never quit.
“There are no updates, which I’m very disappointed about,” Drew said after the game. “I’m going to be professional and I’m going to do my job. It’s been close to 72 hours.”
Not long after the Cavaliers trounced the Hawks 136-114 on Tuesday night for their first win of the season, after six losses with Ty Lue calling the shots, power forward Kevin Love said he “would love (Drew) to be the coach.”
“Everybody knows how I feel about LD, especially after last year’s little run we had. We felt that definitely helped, especially having another huge voice on the bench. Having him step in would be great,” said Love, who is out due to a foot injury.
Love was referring to Drew’s 9-1 record coaching the Cavaliers last spring while Lue was away from the team because of medical issues.
Drew said he knows there is a possibility the sides will not reach an amicable resolution.
“I was told that there could be a possibility of them just bringing in somebody else to finish out the year and then I can move back into my original position as an associate head coach,” he said.
Drew has been an assistant coach in the NBA for 24 seasons, and he was head coach for three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and one season with the Milwaukee Bucks. In 312 games, he has a record of 143-169. His record in the postseason is 10-14.
—Field Level Media