Happy Birthday Tyronn Lue, you earned back the trust from a passionate Cavs fan

May 1, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the second half against the Toronto Raptors in game one of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the second half against the Toronto Raptors in game one of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Happy Birthday Tyronn Lue, I hope you read this. You’ve earned unconditional trust from a passionate Cleveland Cavaliers fan.

Remember when I said Tyronn Lue should be fired? I was irritated, disgusted, perplexed and basically fed-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers play. I was also wrong.

Not wrong in terms of Lue deserving many of the criticisms I hurled his way. After all, I did provide ample evidence that Lue was actually very deserving of criticism. Because of my opinion that even if no member of the organization ever admits is, at least one of them has read one of over 420 pieces I’ve written since I started writing with King James Gospel, I knew that I couldn’t write a piece with that amount of vitriol without evidence.

I’ll even say that I think I noticed a change in Lue’s demeanor after I wrote the piece. His nonchalant attitude about the Cleveland Cavaliers struggles was gone, at the least.

In fact, the day the piece was released the Cleveland Cavaliers got to play the Detroit Pistons for the second time in a week.

In their rematch, they not only avenged their defeat, they played with more purpose and energy and with better execution than they had since the beginning of the season, in my opinion.

In their first matchup with the Pistons, they lost 106-101 as Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith took turns taking advantage of the Cavs’ (lack of) defense.

In the rematch, the Cavs clamped down on the duo, holding them to 18 combined points after they scored 33 combined points in their previous matchup.

Lue started the game by saying he had confidence in his team, which was nothing new. He kept them engaged and focused throughout the game, that was new.

He then ended the game by putting Larry Sanders on the court and letting him hear the raucous roar from the home crowd as his name was called, a feel good move that was in stark contrast to him dissing his players in practice (how I looked at it).

Before he was released, he even started to let DeAndre Liggins get off the bench and play.

I swear Lue read that piece I wrote about him deserving to get fired, especially after reading this piece from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Here’s a quote from Lue from that article:

"“It’s the hardest job. But I’ve been through a lot of tough things in my life anyway, and I just try not to listen to the outside noise — to the media and what they have to say.”"

However, in retrospect, there are things that also weren’t Lue’s fault, like the sudden predictability of the offense.

The Cavs didn’t practice much in the regular season and I believe that played a large part in why they didn’t execute well for stretches and, when Kevin Love went down with an injury, why the offense devolved into a simplistic isolation-heavy, drive-and-kick style of play. With the return of Love, the team to mixed it up a bit more and threw it inside to the post or to players on cuts.

Frye was doing that and was actually pretty effective with his inside-outside play.

It’s just that Love demands more touches than Frye and so his ability to be an inside-outside threat had more of an effect on the Cavs’ success.

I never was a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers saying injuries were at the root of their demise because they found a winning formula without J.R. Smith and then added Kyle Korver. They just went away with that formula and Lue stubbornly adhered to what wasn’t working for the team’s win-loss column.

So, unless the team was primarily talking about Love’s injury, it makes little sense.

Now, though, the team is healthy and Lue has all of his lineup options available. It could just be that they’re in “playoff-mode” and the adrenaline boost allowed them to push their games to another gear.

It could be.

Credit needs to be given to Lue for how he handled the late-season adversity, yes, but also his defensive gameplans against Paul George and DeMar Derozan, the plays he’s drawn-up in-game and the way he’s getting his guys prepared mentally and physically in the playoffs.

He’s putting them through conditioning workouts that serve as contests according to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon.

"“Irving’s problems are not related to film or commitment to winning. He (and the Cavs in general) slowed things down too much in fourth quarters, and were a little tired. To fix that this week, coach Tyronn Lue put them through intense physical conditioning, including Versaclimber contests. We’ll see if they paid off.”"

He’s hosting “watch parties” for the team to see who their next opponent is.

He’s laughing, learning, teaching.

He’s earning.

He’s earning his paycheck in the playoffs.

He’s earned my respect permanently.

While last year, I didn’t know how much credit to give Lue, simply because I felt like if the Cleveland Cavaliers could have won it all with David Blatt in 2015 had they been healthy.

I know how much credit Lue deserves now.

Here’s the last nudge that ended up pushing me all the way into Lue’s corner. A ringing endorsement from LeBron James (again, something that’s never hurt anybody).

Again, my apologies Coach Lue. I was wrong about you getting fired. In fact, I hope you stay around for a while.

By the way, I understand you a lot better now after reading this (quote transcribed by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin):

"“I just got thrown right in the fire, not knowing how I wanted to coach,” he said. “I had a thought of what I wanted to do as a coach, but when you’re coaching LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and the pressures of winning a championship, it’s different.”"

I get it. I understand that even now you’re still learning.

Which I already knew. I just had started to think that you forgot.

Consider myself to be one of your biggest supporters Coach Lue. That won’t change.

Happy Birthday, from a (particularly) passionate Cleveland Cavaliers fan.

Related Story: 5 ways Tyronn Lue improves the Cleveland Cavaliers

What are your thoughts on Lue as a head coach? Let us know in the comments section or Twitter @KJG_NBA.