Cavs, fire coach Drew after 19-win season

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CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cavaliers will continue to rebuild with a new coach. Larry Drew's run is over after one season.

The team parted ways Thursday with Drew, who took over as the Cavs coach in October and led the club to 19 wins amid a swarm of injuries in Cleveland's first season since LeBron James left as a free agent.

The Cavs tied for the NBA's second-worst record, but Drew earned praise for keeping his team competitive despite a young roster and only having All-Star forward Kevin Love for 22 games because of injuries.

"We have great respect and appreciation for Larry and the job that he did as the head coach of the Cavaliers for nearly the entire 2018-19 campaign. He brought professionalism, class and steady leadership both this past season and prior four years," general manager Koby Altman said in a release.

"Larry and I had a productive discussion about this past season, the future of the franchise and the search process that we will shortly launch regarding the head coaching role.

"Larry respectfully declined to participate in the search process and will not be returning to coach the Cavaliers. All of us in Cleveland wish Larry nothing but the best going forward."

Drew took over when Tyronn Lue was fired Oct. 28 following a 0-6 start. The 61-year-old Drew had been with the Cavs since 2016, when he was brought to Cleveland by Lue. The team won the NBA title in Drew's first season on Lue's staff.

When he replaced Lue, Drew knew the Cavs might go in another direction at some point and asked the team to restructure his contract.

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