CLEVELAND (Ohio) • With ticket prices plummeting to as low as US$2 (S$2.70) as reported by TMZ Sports and the Cleveland Cavaliers off to a 0-6 start, someone had to carry the can for the travails in the post-LeBron James era and that man was head coach Tyronn Lue.
The Cavaliers announced the firing of Lue on Sunday, while promoting assistant Larry Drew to interim head coach of the National Basketball Association team.
Lue took over midway through the 2015-16 campaign and signed a five-year extension that year after becoming the first Cavs coach to win a championship title.
The "very difficult decision" as termed by Cavs general manager Koby Altman, came a day after last season's finalists fell 119-107 to the Indiana Pacers to seal the worst-ever start for a team coming off a Finals appearance.
ESPN reported that Lue recently disagreed with Altman over the playing time of veterans Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith, opting to play them despite Altman's preference to give more opportunities to younger players.
"My time here in Cleveland was truly special," Lue said in a statement to sports website The Undefeated. "I only wish the organisation success moving forward."
He posted a 128-83 record during his time with the Cavs, but all of the wins came with James, now with the Los Angeles Lakers.
James thanked Lue on Twitter after the news broke, writing: "T Lue, thanks for the memories and more importantly, our partnership bringing a title to that deserved city/fan base. U (sic) know how to find me."