This NBA Coach Spoke Just 5 Words And Showed What Leaders Are Really Made Of

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 10 May 2017

New York is that way, sir.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


Today has been a tough day.

I'll not bore you with the details, principally because they're very boring.

Instead, please spare a thought for Tyronn Lue.

Oh, he might make millions as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he's really suffering.

The problem, you see, is that he believes he has "the hardest job by far." In the NBA, that is.

That's what he told ESPN.

I pause for your sympathy, your tears and your donations to the Make Tyronn Feel Better Organization that I hope to set up within the week.

Lue offered reasons behind his clearly reasoned thoughts.

"When I was a player, probably about seven to eight years ago, I'm trying to attack every reporter that said something," he told ESPN. "But now I've come to the realization that it's not worth it. People are going to say what they have to say, and they got to sell books or they got to sell stories. They have to do it. That's their job."

Sometimes it is. Sometimes, though, their job happily coincides with what they really think and some demented soul pays them to write it down and disseminate it.

Nevertheless, he complained.

Lue, though, wasn't done explaining why his critics were Lue-sers.

"But it's just, I don't like it when they make stuff up. ... If I didn't do a good job or I didn't do something [correctly], then I understand that. That's your job. You got to write it. But when you make stuff up, that's the part that I don't get that kind of makes me mad."

I heartily agree. It's awful when people make stuff up. Save, perhaps, if those people are Billy Joel, Andrea Camilleri or Joseph O'Neill.

He does, however, sound a touch like the president in his less perfect moments.

It isn't as if Lue just happened upon the job of coaching such below-average talents as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

He was a point guard (of sorts) in his NBA career. He surely saw what was written, said and insinuated by everyone from team executives and writers to fans and cab drivers.

Nevertheless, he complained.

"I don't like the media attention," Lue revealed. "That's why this job is just so tough because you're out in front all the time. It's tough because whatever you say, if you say one wrong thing -- especially leading this team -- it goes viral. It's a big deal."

I can find no evidence that Lue was blindfolded by Ohioans in the middle of the night, bundled into a horse-drawn carriage, dragged to Cleveland and forced to be the team's head coach.

Prior to taking on this job he was the Associate Head Coach of, oh, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nevertheless, he complained.

If you have a job you loathe, it's worth examining why and perhaps even doing something about it.

It doesn't matter if the job is glamorous and pays you a lot of money. It might not be for you.

In Lue's case, it might be worth taking a trip to New York to discover what a really awful, terrible NBA job looks like.

It might be worth traveling to Philadelphia to see how hard a coach works in order to create the semblance of a coherent team.

It might be worth asking Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr how hard it is to coach in the NBA with searing head and neck pain.

Lue has some of the best players in the NBA at his disposal. Nevertheless, he complains. And that might be a sign that this job just isn't for him.

When you're at the top of your profession, when you've already won the NBA championship and you're still complaining, it's time for, well, yoga. At least yoga.

It would be wrong of me to wish that Lue's team loses heavily in the playoffs and slinks off into a miserable night, blaming the coach's abject decisions as it slinks.

It would be wrong, that is, if I wasn't a Golden State Warriors fan.

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