With the decision Sunday to reportedly jettison Tyronn Lue, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coaching spotlight turns to interim coach Larry Drew. Like Lue, Drew is a former point guard who started coaching almost immediately after a long NBA career.
Out goes Tyronn Lue, and in comes Larry Drew for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet despite 25 years on pro benches, Drew was only been a head coach once, during a four-year stretch (2010-2014) spanning two franchises (with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks). While the front office and Drew haggle over just how “interim” his job will be, let’s look at Drew’s vitae and what we can glean from it. There’s plenty to look through here, so we’ll dive right in.
He knows a thing or two about PGs
The Kansas-born Drew was drafted in 1980 by the Detroit Pistons after a four-year career at the University of Missouri. He was taken with Milwaukee’s 17th pick in the draft (acquired in the Kent Benson–Bob Lanier trade). The Pistons traded him to the Kansas City Kings the next year for a couple second-round picks. There Drew bloomed, turning into a 20 points-a-game scorer his third season.
Drew was a good defender, averaging 1.1 steals per game across his career and had a 5.2 to 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. He could also stroke the mid-range J, making 47.8 percent of his career two-pointers.
Drew followed the Kings’ move to Sacramento in 1985 and played for the Clippers for a couple years after that. After a year overseas playing in Italy, a 31-year-old Drew returned to Los Angeles to caddy for Magic Johnson. He called it quits after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 NBA Finals.