Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Clippers are adding Tyronn Lue as a “top assistant” to Doc Rivers on the coaching staff. Lue was in an “informal role” with the Clippers last season, but will officially join the staff in a leading role for the upcoming year. In a follow-up tweet from Stein, he referred to Lue as being a “likely associate head coach”, signifying his importance.
Lue has been on Doc’s coaching staff before. In fact, he was an assistant with the Clippers under Doc back in 2013-2014 before leaving to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was also an assistant with Doc on the Boston Celtics from 2011-2013, in Doc’s last years out east.
Lue took over head coaching duties on the Cavs from David Blatt in the middle of the 2016 season, and helped lead the Cavs to a title that year, the famous “3-1” comeback. He coached the Cavs for over two more seasons, helping them reach the Finals in 2017 and 2018, but losing to the Warriors each time. He was fired just six games into the 2019 season, as the Cavs wanted to go a different direction with a rebuild.
Hilariously, Lue was tabbed as the shoe-in to be the Lakers’ head coach early this summer, but balked at their offer and at some of their demands. He’s a known favorite of Lakers’ superstar LeBron James, and is widely loved around the NBA by players who served under him. He’s a guy who can manage egos, make adjustments, and reinforce the head coach — in other words, he’s an ideal assistant.
This deal still needs to be finalized, of course, and things could fall apart. But the connection with Doc is strong, and Lue seems like a virtual lock to get this position. By adding him, the Clippers are making an already deep coaching staff even better, and will be that much more prepared for a championship run in the modern NBA. This probably isn’t a game changer, but it’s a very nice addition, and another harbinger of how strong the Clippers’ cachet is right now. Well done, Clips.
The Clippers are closing in on the hiring of Tyronn Lue as a top assistant to Coach Doc Rivers, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 14, 2019