It was clear to almost everybody that the pairing of Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade would be an issue in the starting lineup, including Tyronn Lue. While Lue ultimately was the one that chose to start the pair to begin the season, it appear he had other things in mind for the future of the team. After just three games, Dwyane Wade came to the conclusion that he would be able to help the team more coming off of the bench.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Lue had planned out this series of events all along:
When Wade and Lue told the media about the move Monday, one thing became abundantly clear: Lue always felt like this was the right move; he just didn't want to force his viewpoint on Wade.
Said Lue: "We talked about it before he got here; it'd be a better fit with him coming off the bench."
Said Wade: "When me and coach talked before I decided to come here ... we both talked about the opportunity for me to kind of lead the second group, but we also both talked about what I've always done my whole career is I've always started and that's what I know so our goal was to see how it was."
Wade is arguably the third best shooting guard in NBA history. When you consider he gave up around 8 million dollars to come from Chicago to Cleveland, it makes sense that he would have some say in what his role would be with the team. Lue made his stance clear from the start and gave Wade the opportunity to come to the conclusion on his own:
"He came to me and said, 'You know what Coach? What you said was right. I'd be able to be featured more in the second unit and be able to handle the ball more, so let's make that move and make that adjustment,'" Lue said. "That's what professionals do. No ego. He saw it was best for the team for him to come off the bench. It was his call and here we are."
It’s easy to look at these decisions like a game of 2K and forget that there are humans with pride and feelings involved. While Phil Jackson’s insistence on running the triangle has been the source of comedy recently, one thing he did a great job of was managing big personalities. Something Lue may have picked up during his time playing for Jackson. So far, Lue has shown that he can be firm when it’s needed, and trust players to work things out for themselves at other times.