Clippers promote Tyronn Lue to head coach with five-year deal

Originally posted on Hoops Rumors | By Luke Adams | Last updated 10/15/20

The Clippers and assistant Tyronn Lue have agreed to a deal that will promote him to fill the team’s head coaching vacancy and lock him up to a new five-year contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Lue was the Clippers’ lead assistant under head coach Doc Rivers during the 2019-20 season. When Rivers and the Clippers parted ways last month, Lue immediately emerged as the front-runner to fill the newly opened head coaching position.

A former head coach in Cleveland, Lue compiled a 128-83 (.607) regular-season record during two full seasons and parts of two others with the Cavs. He led the team to three straight appearances in the NBA Finals, including a championship in his first season as head coach in 2016.

Lue’s championship résumé and his familiarity with the Clippers players were presumably major factors in the team’s decision to promote him to replace Rivers. Wojnarowski previously reported that Lue’s understanding of the pressures of the job was important for Los Angeles. He was also said to have the support of “prominent players” on the roster.

Lue was nearly hired in 2019 by the Lakers but couldn’t reach an agreement with the club on the terms of a deal, prompting the franchise to turn to Frank Vogel. Now, after the Lakers won a championship and the Clippers flamed out two rounds earlier, Lue will be tasked with leading Los Angeles’ other team to title contention. He won’t have much room for error, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both eligible to reach free agency during the 2021 offseason.

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Lue Has Coaching Spot For KG on Cavs

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said that Kevin Garnett, who retired from the Minnesota Timberwolves after 21 seasons last week, is welcome to join his coaching staff.

“I talked to him about it,” Lue said after Cavs practice Thursday. “I know his wife is pushing for it a lot. Brandi is pushing for it, trying to get him to come and coach. He says he’s not ready yet. He goes back — ‘I might do it’ — but he’s back and forth. We’ll see. But I’d definitely make a spot for him if he wanted to come back and coach.”

Earlier this month, Lue told TMZ that Allen Iverson, recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, could “come coach with me.” While the Iverson invitation was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Garnett is a more realistic candidate.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Lue said of Garnett.

Lue, who was an assistant coach on the Boston Celtics when Garnett played there, stopped a fight from happening between Garnett and Carmelo Anthonyafter a game against the New York Knicks in 2013.

Lue, 39, was rooting for the 40-year-old Garnett to play a 22nd and final season in Minnesota this year.

“Didn’t want to see him do it,” Lue said of Garnett’s retirement. “I thought he would’ve been the first player in NBA history to play in his teens, 20s, 30s and 40s. He just turned 40 in May. I just thought that would’ve been great for him.”

Garnett was a 15-time All-Star, was named league MVP in 2004 and won a championship with the Celtics in 2008. He finished his career ranked third in all-time minutes, fifth in games played, ninth in total rebounds, 11th in made field goals, 16th in steals and 17th in blocked shots.

“Just seeing him go, just seeing what he brought to the game coming out of high school, all the guys that tried to mimic him, the things he did with the powder first and having his boys in the commercials first,” Lue continued. “Everything he’s done, he’s been a trendsetter. Just seeing him leave the game and the way he played every night on a night-to-night basis, every practice from me being with him in Boston, just how he approached the game every single day. He was just like LeBron [James].

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Cavs Resign Tyronn Lue To Five Year Deal


Written by Jeff Schudel at The Morning Journal.com

Tyronn Lue is being rewarded for becoming the first coach in league history to bring his team back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.

According to multiple reports, Lue has agreed to a five-year, $35 million contract extension to coach the Cavaliers. The story was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Lue took over the Cavaliers on Jan. 22 when general manager David Griffin boldly fired David Blatt with the Cavaliers owning the best record in the Eastern Conference at 30-11.

Lue presented the players with different offensive and defensive philosophies. The Cavaliers pushed the ball up the floor more and became more of a perimeter shooting team. They also became more aggressive defensively. In particular, guard Kyrie Irving had to change the way he played to buy into Lue’s scheme.

It took a while for the changes to set in. The hectic schedule gave the Cavaliers precious little time to practice the way Lue wanted, but in the end it paid off with an historic comeback over the 2015 NBA champion Golden State Warriors. After being down three games to one, the Cavs won three straight to clinch the championship in seven games. To do that they had to win Games 5 and 7 in Oakland, where the Warriors lost only twice all season.

With Lue under contract for an additional five years, the Cavaliers still have some major business to tidy up before training camp begins in two months. LeBron James remains a free agent, although he told ESPN he plans to re-sign with the Cavaliers for a third straight year.

Guard J.R. Smith is also a free agent. He might be more difficult to re-sign. According to Inquisitor.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing Smith. Smith is reportedly seeking $15 million a year. Smith and the Cavaliers are in negotiations but reportedly are not close to an agreement.

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Tyronn Lue Has Created A Monster in Cleveland

Written by Ken Berger at CBS.com

The monster that has been unleashed here in the Eastern Conference finals didn’t just wake up and start stomping around when the postseason began. The seeds were planted long before.

And it happened at a time when all of us — myself included — were paying attention to the wrong things.

The first instinct when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt in January despite a recent trip to the NBA Finals and an East-leading 30-11 record was, “What?” But we were focused on what the Cavs were doing, not on what they weren’t doing. They were winning, but not the right way.

In order to get back to the Finals — a place where LeBron James is three wins away from appearing for the sixth consecutive time after a 115-84 obliteration of the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night — they had to change.

Stylistically and behaviorally.

“We were winning,” a person familiar with the team’s internal dynamic told CBS Sports. “But we were a fractured team.”

The Cavs were fractured and not playing to their strengths. Eastern Conference basketball with isolation and traditional lineups and riding whichever star had the hot hand would’ve been good enough to get the Cavs through the East again. That, however, was not the goal.

The goal of any team built the way the Cavs have been built is to win a championship. And to do that, you have to play Western Conference basketball. And you have to play with a purpose, and a pecking order that is balanced.

Before Tyronn Lue was elevated to head coach, replacing Blatt, they were playing like a team that didn’t know its strengths — or, frankly, the rules of engagement at a championship level in today’s NBA.

Blatt’s use of Kevin Love, refusing to get him the ball in the post and relegating him to a stand-still shooter when all else failed, bordered on ridiculous. By letting James overwhelm him in the huddle during timeouts, Blatt unwittingly ceded control — and demoralized the rest of the team. By not being comfortable enough to rein in James, the dynamic of the team became one of LeBron and then everybody else.

“They felt they were doing this for LeBron,” the person familiar with the internal workings of the team said, “instead of with LeBron.”

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