NBA

Larry Drew has swapped worst for potential first after Cleveland Cavaliers move

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It's never fun to get fired. That's a given.

In sports, it's definitely a slap in the face to get fired after one season. But, when it happens behind your back when you think you are coming back for the next season, it's even worse.

That's the case for Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew, who was recently hired as an assistant coach by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Drew goes from the worst team in the NBA, which he led to a 15-67 record, to the team expected to be the one to beat in the Eastern Conference in the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Some hard feelings

Drew hadn't spoken publicly on the move until he opened up to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, saying he was “blindsided” by the move when Bucks owners talked with Jason Kidd and then, after coming to an agreement with Kidd, fired Drew. The news was leaked in the meantime, making it an awkward time for the now Cavs coach.

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The team even had Drew sit with new draft pick Jabari Parker at an introductory press conference before the firing.

"The whole Jabari thing, putting me in that position, I don't think it was very professional," Drew told the Journal-Sentinel.

"I wish it wouldn't have happened that way, but it did.

"If I had been a new coach, I might have reacted differently (to the firing). But because I've been in this so long and I've had friends who have had these type things happen to them, I was OK.

"This is the life we choose and sometimes you have to expect the unexpected."

Drew's coaching past

It wasn't the first time that Drew was fired, as he alluded to before. In fact, most basketball coaches have been fired. It's rare if you haven't.

Drew coached the Hawks for three seasons from 2010-13, leading the team to winning records and the playoffs all three seasons. The Hawks were knocked out in the first round his last two years in Atlanta.

He is a former first-round pick of the Detroit Pistons who was also an assistant for five teams before he was promoted to be Atlanta's head coach.

Excited about Cleveland

Drew will continue to get paid by Milwaukee for the final two years of his contract. But, he told the Journal-Sentinel that getting the Cleveland offer was too good to pass up. Drew told the paper that he met new Cavaliers coach David Blatt in Israel while Drew was with the Hawk:

"He and I just kind of hit it off," Drew said to the Journal-Sentinel. "Lo and behold he gets the (Cleveland) job and he called me up to find out what I was going to do.

"I have been doing this for 33 straight years (the NBA life as a player and coach), and I very strongly considered sitting out a year, taking a break to recharge my battery a little bit.

"But these opportunities don't come by too often. All of the LeBron talk was something I had to think about."

Drew went from one of the NBA's worst outposts to the center of the NBA universe. Too bad he had to get fired for it to happen.

Topics:
Milwaukee Bucks
Eastern Conference
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers

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