Larry Drew, formerly the Cleveland Cavaliers' associate head coach under the just-fired Tyronn Lue, is now running the team even though he doesn't officially have the title of interim coach.
He would like his increased responsibilities to be spelled out and rewarded contractually -- and the team's star player is backing him in that effort.
Not long after the Cavaliers trounced the Atlanta Hawks 136-114 on Tuesday night for their first win of the season, after six losses with Lue calling the shots, power forward Kevin Love said he "would love (Drew) to be the coach."
"Everybody knows how I feel about LD, especially after last year's little run we had. We felt that definitely helped, especially having another huge voice on the bench. Having him step in would be great," said Love, who is out due to a foot injury.
Love was referring to Drew's 9-1 record coaching the Cavaliers last spring while Lue was away from the team because of medical issues.
Now, Drew would like to see his contract situation settled. His current deal, which pays him almost $1 million this season, in the upper tier among NBA assistants, expires in July.
While emphasizing that he's "going to be professional and I'm going to do my job," he added that he knows "there is a possibility that it may not be resolved."
Not clear is how long Drew would continue running the team without accepting the interim tag. Multiple media outlets reported that the team is looking at potential head-coaching candidates from outside the organization.
"I would never quit. I won't do that," Drew said. "I was told that there could be a possibility of them just bringing in somebody else to finish out the year and then I can move back into my original position as an associate head coach."
Drew has been an assistant coach in the NBA for 24 seasons, and he was head coach for three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and one season with the Milwaukee Bucks. In 312 games, he has a record of 143-169. His record in the postseason is 10-14.
--Field Level Media
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