Per NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Tyronn Lue has agreed to a five-year deal to become the head coach of the L.A. Clippers. The former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach will take over the star-studded team after an embarrassing exit from the NBA bubble in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Lue had spent the previous season working as an assistant under former head coach Doc Rivers. After blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets, Steve Ballmer and the rest of Clippers’ ownership decided it was best to move on from Rivers as head coach. Despite Lue being semi-responsible for the coaching of the team last season, this move sees Lue become the man in charge of a Clippers team clearly in need of direction and leadership.
This will be Lue’s first head coaching gig since leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018. Lue spent four years as the head coach of the Cavs, winning the 2016 finals in extreme fashion by coming back from 3-1 down against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
While Lue is clearly an adept coach and a solid tactician, it would be his experience and skill at handling and accommodating superstar talent that got him the job in LA. Lue can boast that he had the stamp of approval from LeBron James, something that is tough to earn as a head coach, just ask David Blatt. After Lue was let go by the Cavs in the winter of 2018, per Bleacher Report, James spoke about his time under the former Laker, “He put us in position to win, he put us in position to succeed,” James told reporters, “And more importantly, he gave—all the onus was on the players. He gave us the responsibility to go out and do what we needed to do to win ball games”.
Moreover, Lue had to juggle a locker-room that included Kyrie Irving‘s eccentricity, Kevin Love‘s confidence issues and a litany of role players whom Lue was able to get the best out of. Lue was able to work with Kevin Love and helped the power forward achieve his potential by becoming an integral part of the 2016 team. Clippers fans will hope Lue can achieve the same effect with Paul George who has suffered from confidence issues as of late.
During his tenure as head coach, the Cavs went 128-83 overall and 41-20 in the postseason. Lue lead the team to three straight finals, losing two and winning one. He has coached in big moments and played in big moments. Lue is a solid hire by the Clippers and is sure to aid superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in their quest to bring a championship to L.A.