Cavs Coach Ty Lue Explains How He Got His Millionaire Players to Care About $4,500

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Coach Tyronn Lue (center) of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the team prior to a game against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 23, 2016, in Cleveland.
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue took a page out of Doc Rivers' book to help LeBron and nem walk away with the world championship.

So the story goes, the Cavs were down 3-1 and the sky was mad gloomy (no word on what the sky looked like, but it adds drama to the story). Anyways, Golden State was a game away from becoming back-to-back champs when a dejected Lue told players, managers and assistant coaches to fork over $100. Everyone did, and Lue took the money, some $4,500, and hid it in the ceiling of the players' locker room.


"They were like, 'Where is the money going?’” Lue told "I'm like, 'It's going to me and I'm going to wrap it up and put it in the ceiling in the coaches' locker room, and we're going to come back, get our money and get our trophy for Game 7.’”

The rest is, as they say, history. The Cavs came back from the largest deficit in NBA Finals history to become the champs.

Lue told that he learned the trick during the 2009-2010 season when he was an assistant to Doc Rivers. The Los Angeles Lakers had just crushed the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day when Rivers took $100 from every player and stuffed it in the ceiling of the Staples Center locker room. There was no guarantee that the Finals would stop there, but assuming it did, the Celtics would have to fight to get back to collect their dough.

"We lost Game 7, but the money was still there and we met them back in the Finals," Lue told the news site. "Great story."


James told the news site that to look back on that story just adds to the cool factor of winning a championship.

"It's definitely something when you're done with the game you can look back on, and obviously, in the record books, it says we're world champions in 2016, but you will remember stuff like that from that championship run," James said.


James added that he never got his money back, so Lue might want to make that right before the new season starts.


Share This Story