Kyrie Irving won a championship with Tyronn Lue as his coach.
There was also a lot of friction in Cleveland, Irving reportedly having issues with both with Lue and LeBron James. Enough that Irving wanted out of Cleveland. He got his wish, but later admitted he could have handled himself and the situation better.
Lue is open to a reunion.
The former Cavaliers coach is, in fact, interested in the Nets gig, according to a source, following a Yahoo! report that Irving prefers Lue on Brooklyn’s sideline.
Of course, Lue, who is currently a Clippers assistant, also wanted to coach the Lakers before reportedly turning down a three-year, $18 million offer. He sought compensation more fitting of a championship coach, so it’s fair to assume Lue wouldn’t come cheap. Nets GM Sean Marks declared on April Fool’s Day that the coaching search is paused during the coronavirus shutdown and he’s pleased with the leadership of interim Jacque Vaughn.
Nobody is making a hire during this suspension in play. Lue is currently seated next to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, and if play returns he will be important to a team with title aspirations. After the season, the Clippers would understand he was ready to get back in the big chair.
As for the Laker offer, it was less about the money than the years and control. Lue rightfully noted that nearly every coach hired gets four-or-five years contracts and that as a championship coach he wanted the full five years. Also, the Lakers were insisting Lue hire Jason Kidd as an assistant — something Frank Vogel agreed to — and Lue demanded the ability to pick his staff, as is the norm with coaching hires.
Lue developed into a solid Xs and Os coach in Cleveland, but more importantly what he brings to the table is an ability to relate to players — particularly star players — and get them to listen. He got everyone pulling the rope in the same way in Clevland, no easy task when you look back at the personalities on that roster. Brooklyn has Kevin Durant and Irving as the leaders in the clubhouse, if they are going to listen to and respect Lue, then this is a good hire.
Or it will be once the league starts up again.