The Clippers officially announced the hiring of Tyronn Lue as the franchise’s next head coach Tuesday. He’ll be introduced Wednesday, but president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank gave his first public comments about the biggest hire of his tenure.
“Ty has been where we want to go. He is a championship head coach with an extraordinary feel for the game and the people who play it,” Frank said. “He’s one of the great minds in our league, and he’s able to impart his vision to others, because he connects with everybody he meets. We conducted a thorough search and spoke with fantastic candidates. We found that the best choice for our team was already in our building. As head coach, Ty will put a unique imprint on the organization, and drive us to new heights.”
The Clippers weren’t the only team to finalize a deal with a new head coach. The Indiana Pacers also agreed to terms with Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach, the first fruit of the Nick Nurse coaching tree. Indiana’s hire means that Chauncey Billups is no longer in the running of the Pacers job, so he is officially joining Lue’s staff as his lead assistant, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Lue and Billups have been friends for a long time. They actually took a trip together a few years ago to the Dominican Republic with Larry Drew, who will also be on the Clippers coaching staff. It was then that Lue learned about Billups’ longtime fear of cats.
The new Clippers head coach and lead assistant also spent the first two months of the pandemic together at Billups’ home in Denver, during which time Lue gave Billups a crash course on coaching. Those lessons appear to have paid off for both parties, and they’ll have to work together once more to lead the Clippers in this upcoming season.
More news for Wednesday:
- The Athletic’s player tiers are back, and three Clippers find themselves in Tier 4. These three players are somehow always grouped together.
- Caitlin Cooper goes over why Bjorkgren makes sense as Indiana’s new head coach.
- John Hollinger named his “Tyler Herro All-Stars”, otherwise known as the young players who increased their value most in the bubble. See what Hollinger has to say about Clippers’ fans favorite underused center.
- Jonathan Abrams spoke to some of the top prospects of the 2020 NBA Draft about how they are staying prepared during this anomalous season.
- Jenn Hatfield analyzed what makes a Most Improved Player, and how they fare the season after winning the award.