Andre Iguodala has high praise for Ty Lue

LA Clippers Ty Lue (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Ty Lue (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Although Tyronn Lue believes he earned his coaching stripes, a perpetual stigma has followed him around his career.

After spending several years as the lead assistant to coach Doc Rivers, Lue received his first crack as the man in charge in 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers axed David Blatt fairly early into the 2015-16 season, making room for Lue to take over. Although there were rocky moments, Lue led the Cavaliers to a 27-14 record through 41 games.

As the franchise headed to the NBA Playoffs as the number one seed, Lue prepared his troops to the best of his abilities, leading them to a 2016 showdown against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Even with the services of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, the Cavaliers found themselves down 3-1. As their obituary was promptly being written, Lue led the Cavaliers on a comeback for the ages, winning three consecutive games en route to the franchise hoisting its first ever title.

Still, regardless of the end result, Lue’s overall achievements in Cleveland have been intrinsically linked to James. To add fuel to the erroneous fire, during the 2018-19 season, his first without James, Lue got off to a winless start through six games and was subsequently let go.

Despite it all, Lue has bounced back nicely, leading the LA Clippers to the Western Conference Finals in 2021 and pushing an injury-hit LA club to the play-in this season. Throughout it all, Andre Iguodala has watched from a distance thoroughly impressed.

“I think Tyronn Lue has done an incredible job of kind of silencing those critics in terms of, you know, he’s a very welcoming type of coach, players’ coach, but he knows his stuff, his X’s and O’s,” Iguodala said when asked about the number of black head coaches in the NBA.

Iguodala, who matched up against Lue’s Cavaliers in three consecutive Finals, was acrimonious after watching his Warriors club squander a 3-1 lead, becoming the first team in the Finals to do so.

Ty Lue has been masterful without LeBron James

During Lue’s two years as the head man in charge in LA, the former championship coach has done a masterful job. This past season, Lue dealt with a bevy of injuries. Kawhi Leonard, LA’s best player, missed the entirety of the season with a torn ACL. Also, Paul George, their All-Star swingman, missed 51 games due to torn ligaments in his elbow right elbow.

In spite of the chips being stacked against him, LA finished the season with 42 wins while narrowly missing out on the postseason dance. Ultimately, with LA expected to house a fully fit roster next season, Iguodala is convinced that not only do opposing teams fear their star-studded lineups but more than anything, Lue’s coaching prowess.

“He’s probably one of the most feared coaches in the league in terms of when an opposing team goes up against them, their antenna goes up in terms of the scout. You rarely see that type of energy towards the opposing coach, we know we’re in for a tough game because no matter who’s playing for his team, they’re going to be able to rise to the occasion and expose your weaknesses.”

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