Tyronn Lue intends to remain Cleveland Cavaliers coach next season and is hopeful he will still have LeBron James on his team.
Lue saw the Cavaliers swept in the NBA Finals on their home court on Friday as the Golden State Warriors clinched a 4-0 series win and successfully defended the title with a 108-85 victory.
Rumours of a departure for Lue, who has three years left on his contract, have persisted throughout the season and a spell of ill health reportedly linked to anxiety that forced him to miss 10 games helped to fuel talk he could step away.
Resignation is not on Lue's mind, however, and asked in the post-game media conference if he intends to keep coaching, the 41-year-old said: "Yeah, I do. I had some tough problems going on throughout the course of the season, and like you said, I probably could have folded myself, but I wasn't going to do that.
"I knew that even if I wasn't feeling a hundred per cent, I had to get back for the playoffs. That's my time. That's my moment. I didn't want to put our coaches in that situation. I didn't want to put our players in that situation, and I had to fight through it. That's what champions do. I gave everything I had.
"Then in my absence, Larry Drew and [Mike] Longabardi, and Phil Handy, [James] Posey, D-Jones [Damon Jones], Vitaly [Potapenko], Jim Boylan, they did a hell of a job just holding it down until I got back.
"Even though I came back when I wasn't quite ready, I had to. That's who I am. I'm never going to give up and never going to give in. I stayed the course and was able to have a pretty special year, outside of losing in the Finals.
"But I thought we did a good job of staying the course and getting to this point. I'm happy for the guys."
"After all the stuff that we've been through, and for the guys to pull together, and get this far when a lot of people counted us out, I'm very proud of the guys, and it's a big step for us."#AllForOne pic.twitter.com/lJKohZDSXp— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 9, 2018
James can opt out of his contract this offseason, and talk of him looking to leave his hometown team for the second time will not die down after the Cavs were swept despite him averaging 34 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds in the Finals.
"I hope he stays. I mean, we all know that," Lue said of James. "But after a game like that, I'm not in any position to talk about that. I just appreciate what he's done for us this season. That's all I can really speak about.
"To be the best player in the world and to give everything you've got in your 15th season, play all 82 games, probably one of the greatest playoff runs that we'll ever see from an individual, to carry this team the way he did all season and leading by example, it's just a testament to his character and who he is as a person and as a player.
"He had a lot of opportunities where he could have sat out of games and was going through a tough stretch and wasn't playing well, but he didn't want to do that. And a lot of guys would have folded under those circumstances, but he didn't.
"He's a bad boy, and I love having him on our team. He fights and competes to the end.
"Sometimes you can give everything you've got and still come up short. I thought that's what our group of guys did in this series."
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