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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Tyronn Lue reveals his 1 big problem with Lakers

Tyronn Lue looking on

Much like Jerry West, Tyronn Lue is a former Los Angeles Laker who went rogue by joining the rival LA Clippers and now has an axe to grind with his old team.

In a feature on the Clippers by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, the Clippers head coach Lue revealed his one major problem with the Lakers, whom he almost became the coach of instead in 2019. Lue said that he felt the Lakers treated him unfairly by valuing him only as a head coach for LeBron James.

“The Lakers [saw it] more so as like [I’m just] coming to coach LeBron,” Lue said. “No, I’m coming to win. I just didn’t think I was treated fairly. And I wasn’t just going to accept any offer just to get a job. I just thought I was better than that.

“The job I’ve been able to do with the team now, like, [Erik Spoelstra] was the same way in Miami,” said Lue of coming into his own with the Clippers. “It’s also made me want to be better because not having LeBron, now I got to show people that I know my stuff. Like, I can really coach. And I still got to get a lot better. But I just want to prove to people that I can coach.”

Youngmisuk adds in the story that Lakers offered Lue just a three-year, $18 million contract (he had a five-year, $35 million deal with Cleveland prior to that). The Lakers also reportedly wanted to dictate Lue’s staff. Lue ended up pulling out of negotiations, and the Lakers hire Frank Vogel instead.

The story by Youngmisuk shares some other compelling details about Lue’s journey as a coach as well as the Clippers’ journey this season. You can read it in whole here.

Lue’s bet on himself and his own abilities definitely paid off. After the failed negotiations with the Lakers, he returned to Doc Rivers’ staff on the Clippers and took over as head coach when Rivers was fired in 2020. In his first year, Lue led the Clippers to their first conference finals appearance in franchise history. Now this year, despite having nearly $100 million in salary sitting on the bench injured in the form of stars Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell, Lue has led a bunch of unheralded young players to the No. 8 seed in the West in a truly remarkable head coaching job.

Whereas Lue was largely seen as James’ lackey with the Cavs, Lue is now seen as one of the NBA’s most brilliant tacticians and masters of in-game adjustments. Lue has also never lost to the Lakers since becoming Clippers head coach, holding a perfect 7-0 record and making sure to rub it in their faces at times too.

Photo: Nov 19, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue looks on against New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

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