The Los Angeles Lakers have officially kicked off their head coaching search, and Tyronn Lue will at the very least get a chance to state his case for landing the job.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Lue is scheduled to meet with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka on Friday to interview for the team’s head coaching vacancy.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is meeting with coaching candidate Ty Lue today, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 19, 2019
Lue has been considered one of the frontrunners for the job, which makes sense given his history with LeBron James. The two have a close relationship and won a championship together with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016, and there was talk at the time that Lue helped the Cavs gel by asserting authority over LeBron.
However, there was a report this week that claimed there are some within the Lakers organization that think Lue’s relationship with LeBron would make him a risky hire. Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams is another name that has been mentioned as a favorite for the position, so he will likely get an interview in the coming days as well.
Tyronn Lue is considered one of the frontrunners to land the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching job now that Luke Walton is out, but there are apparently some executives with the team who are not in favor of bringing Lue in. Why? Because they are leery of pairing him with LeBron James.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported this week that there is a “buzz circulating in coaching circles” that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams has a better chance at landing the Lakers job than Lue. The reason for that is that some Lakers executives fear hiring Lue would give LeBron “too much control.”
In other words, not everyone in the Lakers’ front office is on board with bringing in one of LeBron’s guys. Lue, who won a title with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, clearly has the respect of LeBron. There were reports during that 2016 title run that Lue was able to help the Cavs gel by asserting authority over James, but some LA execs may not buy into that or view it as a situation they want to recreate with their team.
We have all seen what can happen when LeBron and his coach don’t get along, and there’s a line of thinking that the Lakers could essentially allow him to fill the position with whomever he pleases. While James will almost certainly have some input, the Lakers may be split on how much influence they want him to have.
It did not take long for a clear frontrunner to be identified after Luke Walton’s departure as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is considered a “strong frontrunner” for the Lakers’ open job.
Ty Lue is a strong frontrunner for the Lakers coaching job, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 12, 2019
Wojnarowski adds that Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams is the other leading candidate for the role.
Sixers assistant Monty Williams joins Ty Lue as the central candidates in the Lakers search, league sources tell ESPN. Process is expected to center on them.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 12, 2019
It will be vital for the Lakers to hire a coach that LeBron James both approves of and can coexist with. Lue has already proven he can do that, as the two won an NBA title together in 2016 in part because Lue was able to stamp his authority on James and the team. There is no guarantee that the second act would go quite as well as the first one, but there’s a proven relationship there, and the Lakers may well value that.
Things have gone about as poorly as expected for the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James this year, and the bad start is costing head coach Tyronn Lue his job.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Cavs players were informed on Sunday that Lue will be let go in the wake of the team’s 0-6 start.
Cavs‘ roster has been informed of firing of Ty Lue, per league sources. Lue has been let go as Cavs head coach after 0-6 start to Cleveland’s season. https://t.co/b50Nxh91Br
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 28, 2018
Lue was facing a tall task this season with a stripped-down roster that had to figure out how to win without the best player in the game, so it seems like owner Dan Gilbert was looking for an excuse to fire him. It would be extremely difficult to judge any team after six games, let alone a roster like the one LeBron left behind in Cleveland.
Lue took over as the Cavs’ coach during the 2015-16 season, and he led the team to an NBA championship and three NBA Finals appearances. He finishes with an overall record of 128-83
The NBA is a “get wins or get out” enterprise. The business can be callous at times, spurning head coaches who have seemingly earned job security — a lesson Dwane Casey learned the hard way in May. It’s still hard to imagine Casey on the Pistons’ sideline.
It may seem ridiculous to already be speculating about which coaches could be fired this season, but the 2018-19 season is practically upon us, and before we know it, some team will be searching for a new leader. With the preseason already underway, here are 10 coaches on the hot seat.
10. Alvin Gentry, Pelicans
You could argue Anthony Davis’ impressive late-season surge saved Gentry’s job last season. The Pelicans won their first playoff series in the Davis era — an encouraging sign — but the Warriors quickly vanquished New Orleans’ momentum. This seems to be a pivotal moment for the franchise. The Pelicans didn’t have much spending money this summer, as the squad had already dished out hefty contracts to players like E’Twaun Moore, Alexis Ajinca, and Omer Asik. The team allowed DeMarcus Cousins to bolt and signed bargain-basement assets Jahlil Okafor and Elfrid Payton, in addition to Julius Randle. The Pelicans are reliant on Davis sustaining MVP-level production; if he and Jrue Holiday crash back to earth early this season, however, GM Dell Demps — left with little flexibility to add another impact player — may opt to make a coaching change.
If Luke Walton needs some advice on how to coach LeBron James, he can look no further than James’ last head coach.
Speaking at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas on Saturday, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said that he was planning to meet over dinner with his Los Angeles Lakers counterpart (as well as Lakers associate head coach Brian Shaw) to discuss coaching The King.
“I’ll just tell them LeBron’s easy,” said Lue, per Tania Ganguli of the LA Times. “People get this whole thing built up like he’s hard to coach, it’s not. LeBron’s not the problem. It’s the outside tension that’s the problem. Just put added pressure immediately on the coaches, on his teammates. Now everything you do is under a microscope.
“So it’s going to be a totally different change for the Lakers,” he continued. “They’ll be able to handle it. LeBron is easy to play with, very unselfish. LeBron can bring guys along, make sure they’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be good. The outside is what you’ve gotta be able to block out.”
Lue coached James for four years in Cleveland (two as head coach and two as associate head coach). He also used to be teammates with Shaw on the Lakers during their playing careers, which may help explain his willingness to assist.
As Lue hinted at, the four-time MVP mostly takes care of the basketball part of things himself, but it’s the scrutiny that comes along with him that can create headaches for the rest of the team and coaching staff. We do wonder though if one of Lue’s techniques for coaching James would work as well for the Lakers.
Despite a disappointing end to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff run, coach Tyronn Lue has no intention of stepping aside as the team’s head coach.
Lue said after Cleveland’s season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors that he planned to be back next season despite the health issues he dealt with during the year.
Tyronn Lue said he intends to return as Cavs coach next season. He has three years remaining on his contract
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) June 9, 2018
Lue battled health issues late in the regular season, but was able to return and coach the entire playoffs without incident. His performance in the postseason was met with some criticism, but ultimately he got Cleveland to the Finals. Now we’ll see if he has LeBron James to work with next year.