CLEVELAND — When Kyle Lowry was struggling early on in the post-season, Tyronn Lue was a mentor the Toronto Raptors guard reached out to.
Even now that Lowry and Lue are at opposite ends of the same court, in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, they still talk.
"Throughout the course of the playoffs I've talked to him," Lue said prior to Thursday night's Game 2 tipoff. "We had a chance to talk today a little bit over text, and he said he wanted to come over last night and watch the (Western Conference finals) game. But he knew he couldn't. He knew it wouldn't look right.
"But we have a great relationship, and I'm just so happy for him and proud of the player that he's become."
Lowry has referred to the 39-year-old Cavaliers head coach as a father figure. When questioned about the reference, Lue explained that virtually the day Lowry was drafted into the NBA in 2006, eight years into Lue's playing career, he took Lowry under his wing. It was a natural fit since the two shared the same agent.
"It was crazy, when he got drafted, when (Lowry) first came in, he said that he 'wanted to be like Tyronn Lue,'" said Lue, who played 11 years in the NBA for seven different teams. "He wanted to compare himself to me. I was like, 'Well, you can be much better than me.' I was just a role player.
"But when he first came in from Villanova, that's what he said, and it caught my attention, and from that day forward, we've always had a great relationship.
"He's very well surpassed me as a player."
Lue was named the Cavs head coach in January after the firing of David Blatt.