Tyronn Lue was deeply affected by the Las Vegas shooting, and for very personal reasons. The Cleveland Cavaliers head coach has lived in Las Vegas for the past nine summers, and he had three friends who were wounded by the gunfire.
Lue told reporters Wednesday that his friends are okay, but that after hearing of the massacre, he pulled out his phone and began frantically calling everyone he knew who lived in that city. In the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more who were attending an outdoor country music concert, before he took his own life as police closed in on his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort.
“I knew a lot of people that were affected, a lot of people that were there,” Lue said Wednesday (via cleveland.com), ahead of his Cavs’ preseason opener against the Hawks. “Just not about my people, but just a horrible thing to have to go through, especially when I lived there for nine years and knowing all the people I know out there that work at the Mandalay Bay and Aria, all different casinos. …
“I feel sorry for all the loved ones of each one that lost someone or been badly hurt,” Lue continued. “It’s just not a good thing. … I’ve been touched by a few people who’d gotten injured, who’d gotten shot. Just a tough position to be in.”
Before the Cleveland-Atlanta game, a moment of silence was observed for the victims in Las Vegas, as was done before the NHL games Wednesday which kicked off that league’s regular season. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest team, plays their first game Friday and will debut in their home city Tuesday.
The UNLV football program said it will have a pregame ceremony before Saturday’s home game against San Diego State, one that will honor the victims and those who came their aid, including first responders. Both teams will affix red ribbon decals, emblazoned with the words “Las Vegas,” to their helmets.
Lue said that about 15 friends of his were at the concert. He owned a home in Las Vegas but sold it two years ago, after which he has been staying for the summers at the Aria hotel and casino, located about a mile and a half from the Mandalay Bay.
“When you’re going through your phone and so many people who lived out there, were great friends of yours and took care of you, you’ve been around for so long,” Lue said. “It’s just tough to go through that experience.”
The 40-year-old coach declined to comment on the issue of gun control, saying (via the AP), “I’m not really a political guy who says what you should do. Whatever we can do to stop these types of violent acts, I’m all for it.”
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