In a shocking turn of events, the LA Clippers added former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to their bench as the new assistant coach to Doc Rivers.
At one point the clear choice for the Los Angeles Lakers and Lebron James, he’s now working with one of his former teams, as well as the team that will go against his former star player four times over the 2019-2020 season. What does this mean for the Clippers?
Before we get into what Lue will bring, let’s talk about what he’s brought before. A former Laker himself, he saw two of the three years in which the Lakers three-peated (99-00 and 00-01). For the rest of his career, he’d go on to play more games with six other teams, finally retiring in 2009 after fourteen seasons.
Starting off his management career, he was the director of basketball development for the Boston Celtics. He spent his time there learning from then-head coach Doc Rivers, and his friendship with Doc grew along with his skills behind the bench. After going to the Clippers with Doc Rivers in 2013, he spent the year there before going to Cleveland as the associate head coach.
Eventually, Lue would become the head coach of the Cavaliers in 2016 after they fired David Blatt, and he’d take his team all the way to the NBA Finals. As history has it, they won the Finals after making an incredible 3-1 series comeback against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. For the rest of his tenure in Cleveland, he’d see the NBA Finals another two times with Lebron James, both of which they lost to the Warriors.
Heading Out to the Golden State
His three-year contract expired with Cleveland after the 2018-2019 season and most expected him to go to the greener pastures of Los Angeles to coach a very stacked Lakers team with his former star player. However, after some messy talks, Lue refused to go to the Lakers. Instead, he decided to wait to see what Doc would do.
Eventually, the Clippers acquired NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard and another MVP candidate in Paul George, so the choice was pretty clear. Return to helping Doc Rivers compete for a chip. Now, Tyronn Lue will help his former team in the Clippers and his old friend in Doc Rivers to compete against Lebron James and the Lakers. No better storyline could have been written for the occasion.
What Lue Can Do
As for what Lue brings, he has championship experience much like Doc Rivers. He has the mindset to keep the Clippers running smoothly even in the toughest of playoff games. He also has smarts with how he runs his teams, as he took the Cavaliers to the Finals three straight years despite their one really great player is Lebron James. And finally, he has experience in developing young players, which will come in handy with helping Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann through their first year in the NBA. He’s the whole package to get some of the workloads off of Doc Rivers.
Despite his two bitter Finals losses and a horrible start to a rebuilding year in 2018-2019, Tyronn Lue is set to come back strong with the help of his good friend Doc Rivers. He’s got the brains to bring out the best of the bench, and best of all, he’ll be a great help to Mann and Kabengele.
It’s almost absurd to see so much talent flowing out of this Clippers bench when all of it was supposed to go to different places. More of that Steve Ballmer magic.
Images Courtesy Of: cbssports.com and clutchpoints.com Statistics And Numbers Courtesy Of: basketball-reference.com