Cleveland Cleanout: Cavs and Browns Fire Head Coaches

Job security is at an all-time low in Cleveland. This week, both the Cavaliers and the Browns fired their head coaches, Tyronn Lue and Hue Jackson, respectively. On Sunday, October 28, the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Lue, who recorded a record of 128-83 with the team. The next day, October 29, the Cleveland Browns also fired their leader, Jackson, who led the team to a perfect 0-16 season in 2018 and had an overall organization record of 3-36-1. Based on these numbers, Jackson had it coming. Lue did not.

Losing LeBron

After the notable departure of LeBron James this summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped sharply in the NBA power rankings. Despite being Eastern Conference Champions for four consecutive years, including last year, the Cavs quickly fell out of favor after they lost their star man. Not much was expected in from the Cavs.

So the 2018-2019 season begins. The Cavaliers, as predicted, looked terrible. With an 0-6 start, Cleveland fans everywhere were unhappy. But this was to be expected—LeBron was gone and, on top of that, Kevin Love was sidelined with a toe injury.

Tyronn Lue, courtesy of Daily Express

To be fair, the Cavs probably should have beaten the Knicks and the Hawks to start the season at 2-4. But regardless, it was predicted that the Cavs would be bad. And the Cavs were bad. But for some reason, the front office wanted someone to blame, so Tyronn Lue became the fall guy. And that was completely unfair.

Let’s look at the facts. Lue has a win percentage of 65% with the Cavs. He has won the Eastern Conference and made it to the NBA Finals every year that he has been head coach. To me, that resume isn’t too shabby. So what if he leads a LeBron-less team to an 0-6 start? The season is 82 games long. The Cavs haven’t found their stride. And they are missing a big piece of their offensive puzzle.

If nothing else, Lue’s firing was premature. Sure, if the Cavs go on to lose their first 15 games, get him out of there. But 0-6? That’s a dramatic reaction, and it’s certainly no way to thank the man who led the team that ended the 52-year Cleveland sports championship drought.

To Tyronn Lue: Sorry it had to end this way. Thanks for the ring.

Jilted Jackson?

I can’t say I’m as sympathetic to Hue Jackson as I am to coach Lue. As the Browns head coach, Jackson’s win percentage was a solid 8%. Keep in mind that, if you take out this season, that drops down to under 3%.

Hue Jackson, courtesy of Business Insider

In 2015, the Browns just missed a perfect season and ended the year with a record of 1-15. In 2016, however, they finally reached the pinnacle of sports history and held strong to finish out at a winless 0-16. To start this season, the Browns are 2-5-1 — their best performance under Coach Jackson.

I only sympathize with Jackson from the standpoint that he was released as soon as things started looking up for the Browns. Regardless, it was time for a change of pace for Cleveland and firing Jackson was, in my opinion, the right call. I only regret that they didn’t do it sooner.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, despite the fact that they met the same fate, Lue and Jackson are two very different coaches. Hopefully, Jackson’s replacement will find more success than his predecessor, but for Lue’s successor, I just don’t see how better results are possible.