Tyronn Lue Named Coach of East All-Stars, Three Games Into His Head Coaching Career
According to NBA rules, the head coach of the team with the best record in its conference two weeks before the All-Star Game is named coach of that conference’s All-Star team. However, there is an exception called the Riley Rule that prohibits back-to-back appearances. That was named after Pat Riley, whose Lakers were the number one team at the All-Star break eight times in nine seasons between 1982 and 1990.
Unfortunately, the NBA is sticking to these rules for this year’s All-Star Game, even though that means the most-deserving coaches get screwed.
The biggest problem is the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers are the top team with a record of 32-12. However, they just fired David Blatt, who had a record of 30-11, and replaced him with Tyronn Lue, who has a record of 2-1.
In an ideal world the NBA would have let Blatt coach the All-Star Game despite being fired. But that would have been really awkward for everybody, so the next best thing would have been to give the honor to Raptors coach Dwane Casey. Not only is his team a close second at 30-15, but the All-Star Game is being played in Toronto. However, the league is sticking to its rules, which means Cavs coach Tyronn Lue will lead the Eastern Conference All-Stars, despite the fact that he’s just three games into his career as a head coach.
The Western Conference also has a strange situation. Because Warriors coach Steve Kerr coached the West last year, he is ineligible to coach this year under the Riley Rule. So the honor goes to the coach of the team with the second-best record, which in this case is San Antonio Spurs legend Gregg Popovich.
Now, Popovich is probably the best coach in the NBA and his Spurs are the second-best team in the NBA, so he is definitely deserving. However, it would have been nice if the NBA had bent the rules a bit and named Warriors assistant Luke Walton coach of the West. It was Walton, after all, who coached the Warriors to the best start in NBA history while Kerr was recovering from back surgery.
But no. When it comes to the All-Star Game, the NBA is all about their rules.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]