Clippers’ Hiring Of Tyronn Lue is a Home Run

Ty Lue Doc Rivers LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ty Lue Doc Rivers LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Tyronn Lue is set to rejoin the LA Clippers organization as a top assistant to Doc Rivers, Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported. 

Just barely over three months after being wished a happy birthday by a Lakers-themed cake, seemingly willing into existence the reunion of the former Cavs head coach with LeBron James, Tyronn Lue has decided to coach in Staples Center after all. Lue will be an assistant coach for the consistently superior occupant of the back end of this decade, the LA Clippers.

Beyond familiarity with James, Lue was desired by the Lakers for the simple reason he’s a championship head coach, despite coaching in James’ shadow. Lue was able to accomplish what no other coach in Cleveland could, which was collect a roster large on star power and egos and short on overall roster depth, and play those pieces to those strengths long enough to win an NBA championship. In a league that is run by the players, Lue has found success managing personalities, and is an underrated strategic mind. 

It speaks to Lue’s abilities he was so highly praised and desired in spite of being fired by Cleveland after an 0-6 start in the latest post-LeBron era. 

The mere fact LeBron seemed more than comfortable with a reunion spoke to their relationship, and Lue’s skill to relate to star players while succeeding in the court is a widely desired skill in the NBA.  The reunion seemed inevitable, but at the last minute, Lue backed out of negotiations with the Lakers, seeming uncomfortable with the team’s commitment to him beyond LeBron’s contract. 

The Lakers’ loss is the Clippers gain, as a roster with once prized inevitable future Lakers (as the club’s leaky front office and fan culture would love you to believe), Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, will be coached by Doc Rivers, whose pedigree is well-known in NBA circles, and now also adds another championship head coach to the bench in Tyronn Lue.

Lue has a long history with Doc Rivers, having been a Boston Celtics assistant from 2011-2013, joining Rivers in Los Angeles to coach the 2013-14 Clippers as well. Their working relationship is obviously solid, as Lue rejoined the Clippers last year as a consultant after being fired by Cleveland, analyzing video and providing feedback to Rivers.

The Clippers didn’t merely hire an assistant coach today. They hired a young head coach with a championship to his name who is looking for the best fit for him to take a team over again. In the meantime, he returns to a familiar environment and a head coach he’s worked very well with.  And what he brings to the table is handling the sort of star power, media attention, and multitude of egos a team like the 2019-20 Clippers promise to bring to the table.

Next. LA Clippers finally get 2K Classic Team. dark

In a summer spent assembling the best roster this franchise has ever had, the LA Clippers have capped it off by adding a mind who can improve the strategy, a voice who can resonate in the locker room, and a trusted friend for Doc Rivers to lean on as the Clippers set out with the goal of their first NBA Championship.

Piece of cake.