The LA Clippers hiring Tyronn Lue was the obvious but correct choice.
When the LA Clippers reportedly hired Tyronn Lue yesterday as their head coach for the next five years, there were a lot of mixed reactions on Twitter. While the majority of the responses seemed positive and relieved that the search was over, several flew right into negativity.
Perhaps that negativity is just the nature of some Clippers’ fans. Who can blame them? Perhaps it’s in part due to Lue’s lone championship coming with LeBron James leading the charge. Whatever the case, it seems unwarranted. Tyronn Lue was always the obvious choice. Even though he was obvious, he was also the right one.
Let’s start with the simplest fact – the players wanted him. In his breakdown of the hiring (subscription required), Jovan Buha of The Athletic noted that Lue had “significant support among key Clippers players in the search process”. It doesn’t take much investigative power to realize that the implication is that Kawhi Leonard and (probably) Paul George wanted him. With the two set to hit free agency after this upcoming season, it only makes sense to listen to their voices when deciding the direction of the franchise.
From a coaching standpoint, what’s there to not like about everything Lou is saying? Just look at this quote from the LA Times regarding his expected style:
Lue left the team impressed with his tactical plans and ability as a communicator. With Cleveland, he famously challenged James to play better at halftime of Game 7. And he made clear that his decisions as the team’s leader would be viewed through the lens of whether it would help win a championship the Clippers have chased, without success, for 50 years.
“He’s not going to tolerate mediocrity if it cuts against winning,” said a person with knowledge of the search…
…Lue, according to people with knowledge of the talks, discussed a controlled offense that would emphasize speed and ball movement instead of heavy use of isolation. Defensively, the team is expected to again lean on one-on-one play while mixing in various zone looks. Lue is considered highly adaptable with his style.
How can anyone read that and not be thrilled? After having Doc for several years, seeing a new offense is going to be great, especially one that does not focus on isolation. Too often the Clippers would get into one-on-one battles and while they would usually turn out okay, it became a problem in the playoffs.
The quote regarding not tolerating mediocrity is important to see also after how the season ended. Doc was chastised for refusing to get out of his own way and the team blew a 3-1 lead. If Lue stays true to his word, we can expect players to be taken out and adjustments to be made when the team is playing poorly.
Ty might not be the “sexy” or “unexpected” hire that everyone hoped for but he’s the right man for the LA Clippers.