Report: Clippers close to hiring Tyronn Lue as associate head coach

Cassandra Negley
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 01: Head coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to head coach Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Clippers defeated the Cavaliers 113-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Tyronn Lue is reportedly close to becoming the top assistant for Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Clippers are close to adding Tyronn Lue to the coaching staff, according to New York Times writer Marc Stein.

Stein reported Lue’s title will likely be associate head coach.

Lue, the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, was in talks to take the Los Angeles Lakers job in May. Talks fell apart despite a strong relationship with superstar LeBron James. Stein reported that at the time some in the organization believed hiring Lue would give James too much power and the Lakers hired Frank Vogel instead.

Now James and Lue could still be in the same building, but working for opposite teams.

Rivers led Lue into coaching

Rivers gave Lue, 42, his first shot at a coaching gig, telling the then-26-year-old player to call him when he finished his career in the 2000s.

“You’re gonna be a hell of a basketball coach,” he told him, per a story by Sports Illustrated in 2016. Lue started under Rivers with the Boston Celtics in 2009 and learned from him, eventually following Rivers to L.A. in 2013. The Clippers made it to the Western Conference semifinals.

Lue was a Cavs assistant in 2014-15 and took over as head coach midway through the 2015-16 championship season. He spent two more full seasons in Cleveland before he was fired six games into 2018-19.

Lue went 128-83 over parts of four seasons with Cleveland. It’s his only head coaching experience and the only team he’s coached for sans Rivers.

Lakers vs. Clippers heats up even more

It was an arms race for talent this summer and both Los Angeles teams delivered. The Lakers finally brought former Pelicans star Anthony Davis to the city, while the Clippers splashed by signing former Raptors star and reigning champion Kawhi Leonard and pulling off a blockbuster trade for Paul George.

The Lakers and Clippers will play on Christmas Day.

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