Tyronn Lue Is Perfect Lakers Coach!
Why the 34-year old former Lakers’ player and Cavaliers’ coach is exactly what the Los Angeles Lakers need as their head coach
Forget the funky process and silly worries LeBron is the running the team because Ty Lue is the perfect head coach to help the Los Angeles Lakers erase Magic Johnson, Luke Walton, Byron Scott and five years of utter frustration.
The 41-year old Lue checks all the important boxes every Los Angeles Lakers head coach should check. He’s a young coach in his prime, played for the Lakers for three years, has a championship resume both as player and coach, is a strong proponent of the three-point shot and the modern analytics game, has the full support of former coaches Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers, and has coached and built a good relationship with Lakers’ superstar LeBron James.
What impressed me most, however, was how Lue went about convincing the Los Angeles Lakers front office brass that he wanted the job and was the right man for it. In selling the Lakers, Ty showed the same savvy ability to smartly analyze what was happening in a game and make the right adjustments as he did to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers stunning come back from a 1–3 deficit to upset the Golden State Warriors and win the 2015–16 NBA championship.
Lue reminded Jeanie Buss and the Lakers brass that he was a member of the Lakers family and still bleeds purple and gold and understands what it means to be a Laker. He not only started his NBA career playing for them but also won two rings there. With all the Laker bashing and negative press today, Lue struck an emotional chord with the Lakers’ front office execs as a candidate who appreciated the greatness of the Lakers and wanted to be a part of it.
Lue also made a lasting impression on the Lakers front office brass with his level of preparation and the potential offensive and defensive sets he’d use to take advantage of the current talent on the Lakers, including LeBron James. Lue also let the Lakers know that he wanted to build a strong coaching staff with a proven experienced associate head coach like Tom Thibodeau or Frank Vogel, an issue that became a major conflict with former coach Luke Walton.
While there’s been talk that some Lakers’ executives were hesitant to hire Lue because of the optics that the franchise was being run by LeBron, the reality is Lue’s strong relationship and experience with LeBron is clearly a big plus. Contrary to popular opinions, Lue is not a LeBron ‘Yes’ man and has a strong reputation as a coach who’s not afraid to challenge LeBron, especially when he ignores the coach’s instructions or is not following the team’s game plan.
After the disastrous roster Magic Johnson put together last summer that ignored the team’s desperate need to surround LeBron James with willing and capable three-point shooters, the Lakers need to embrace analytics. Hiring Tyronn Lue, who often surrounded LeBron with four three-point shooters in five-out sets with Kevin Love as the team’s stretch five, would be a huge first step in the Lakers joining the league’s three-point revolution.
The Lakers only have three years left on their four-year contract with James and they can’t afford the risk of a new head coach coming in who might not be able to quickly build a solid working relationship with their best player. Tyronn Lue not only knows how to coach LeBron but also runs an offense that features five-out sets and optimizes his skill set by creating space he needs. Hiring Ty Lue would end a string of poor decisions by the Lakers’ front office.
This was obviously written today before the news came out that the Lakers and Tyronn Lue were no longer negotiating for him to coach the Lakers. Needless to say, I think that was a terrible outcome for both Lue and the Los Angeles Lakers.