Cleveland Cavalier head coach Tyronn Lue signs his name on the back of a youngster shirt at the Cavs annual Thanksgiving day dinner at the Q on Nov. 21. (Bryant Kizer, Photo)
For many Thanksgiving is a day of reflection of times gone by both good and bad, but for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue it is truly a moment to be thankful.
Today Lue is a multi-millionaire head coach of the NBA World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but yesterday he just a poor Black kid not knowing what the future held for him.
So, as Lue joined with his general manager and players to serve families in need high above the Cavs home court on Monday he essentially was serving himself, a notice of just how fickle life can be.
Thus for many star athletes and coaches who take part in traditional Thanksgiving feeding stops, for Lue it is a responsibility that he takes to heart. He would do it if the cameras where not on him, he would do it if he wasn’t and NBA coach for former player, he would do it because it is necessary.
Far away from his native small town of Mexico, Missouri, where police officers were serving hot food Lue purchased to the less fortunate he was filling the gap to inspire hope here in Ohio.
"I mean, you grow up in the environment I grew up in, grew up hard and grew up poor," Lue said.
"Your mom doesn't have a car until you make it to the NBA," Lue said. "We had cable -- no telephone. So, I mean, if you grow up like that and you're able to make it to this level and be blessed the way I've been blessed, it's always great to give back."
Lue’s involvement to better relations with police in Blacks in his home town through his charity the last few years to help build relations between the approximately 1,000 black people in the town and the police.
"I just thought it was better to bridge that gap," Lue said. "When young kids can grow up and see those police officers giving you free stuff and giving you toys on Christmas, I just think it's big for them to see that so it's not, 'oh here come the police' or they're scared of the police, or vice versa.
"Being our community police officers being afraid of the kids growing up in our environment, so just try to have a relationship, build a relationship. And it's been working. It's been great."
More than a former NBA player, more than a World Champion coach, Tyronn Lue is a man of faith, high moral character and a person who has not forgotten where he came from.