The Brooklyn job was arguably the most attractive of all the head coaching vacancies this offseason. The Nets have two All-Stars — and one bona fide superstar in Kevin Durant — as well as a core of young players who punched above their weight in the bubble. They also occupy the same media market as the New York Knicks and thus enjoy a little less scrutiny whenever the Knicks do something stupid, which happens about 360 days a year.
The hottest coaching names on the market were linked to that gig, including Tyronn Lue, who expressed interest in the position back in April. Rather than go with an established name, Brooklyn elected to make a splash with a coaching neophyte in Nash.
Nevertheless, there are still four teams without a head coach (Chicago, New Orleans, Indiana, and Philadelphia) and more jobs may become available depending on postseason results (cough, cough Milwaukee), and Lue is currently being linked to the 76ers opening, especially since Villanova head coach Jay Wright has removed himself from consideration. Lue might want to hold out for the Bucks job, but if the Nets already filled their position, it could behoove him to make a move before all the good spots are taken.
Lue’s biggest advocate has and will always be Doc Rivers, who remains flummoxed that Lue is still available to be an assistant on his staff.
“He’s been phenomenal on my staff,” Rivers said before practice Wednesday. “It’s amazing getting him after being a coach once and now he’s your assistant again. And the difference in him, people don’t understand that little 2 feet next step [to the head coach chair], you change. Ty’s come back, he’s an amazing coach. He’s been absolutely great. He’s just a wonderful guy to be around. His IQ, his feel, he’s made this year really enjoyable for me.
“It’s a joke that he’s not a head coach, but it’s to my advantage that he’s not.”
While Lue’s name as already been in the mix for open jobs, Clippers TV analyst Chauncey Billups is putting his own name out there. It comes as little surprise that he would do so after Nash’s hiring, since their paths are very similar. Both were All-Star point guards praised for their command on the court, and neither has coaching experience though each spent some time in the studio.
Lue definitely deserves a chance to run another team, and hopefully Billups gets a look, too. He has been great on the broadcast this season.
More news for Friday:
- This was written before LA’s rout of Denver Thursday night, and it proved prescient: Michael Pina on Kawhi Leonard’s devastating post game.
- Marcus Morris Sr. got to reunite with Marcus Morris Jr. at the game, along with his very pregnant wife Amber. Morris’ second child is due at the end of the month, and he plans to leave the bubble to be with his family then.
- Congrats to Ja Morant on being named Rookie of the Year and earning 99 of 100 possible first-place votes. Morant still wants to know who snubbed him.
- OG Anunoby may have hit the shot of the postseason, a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to win the game and prevent the defending champions from going down 3-0 to the Celtics. Check it out from four angles:
Ending of Raptors-Celtics, in QUADCAM pic.twitter.com/VPOLLD6yzs— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 4, 2020
Today’s Playoff Games
|3:30 p.m.||Milwaukee||Miami||TNT||MIA 2-0|
|6:00 p.m.||Houston||Lakers||ESPN||Game 1|