The importance of having a good coach who will guide his players in the right direction, especially during hard times is one of the most valuable things a team can have. Often overlooked as a good coach, Tyronne Lue did just that during the NBA finals back in 2016.
In game 7 against the defending champions Golden State Warriors, LeBron James had several mistakes which resulted in a three-point lead the Warriors had before halftime. According to Lee Jenkins, Tyronne Lue confronted LeBron James and stressed the main mistakes he had during the first two quarters of that game.
Lue called LeBron out in the locker room because of his poor defense on Draymond Green and turnovers that resulted in scored baskets on the other end by the Warriors.
“Stop being so passive! Stop turning the ball over! And guard Draymond! “Bron was mad, pissed off at me, and then we went into the locker room at halftime and I told him the same thing in front of all the guys. He was mad again, pissed off again.”
Lue also admitted LeBron was actually having a decent game, but he wanted LeBron to step up his game even more because he knew if they want to win their best player needs to be the best on the floor by far. This was the advice given to him by Doc Rivers when he was the head coach in Boston and needed to push his guys to their limits in order to win big games.
“He stormed out of the locker room. The coach laughs as he tells the story. “I didn’t really think he was playing that bad. “But I used to work for Doc Rivers in Boston, and he told me, ‘I never want to go into a Game 7 when the best player is on the other team.’ We had the best player. We needed him to be his best. I know he might have been tired, but f— that. We had to ride him. And he had to take us home.”
It seems that criticism Lue displayed in the locker room turned out to be a positive thing because LeBron James had a monster game that night and enabled his team to win the first and only championship in Cavs history.