The rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job are heating up, with new reports that Tyronn Lue could be a top candidate to replace Luke Walton after his expected firing.
The Lakers are stumbling to a disappointing finish in the first year of the LeBron James era, eliminated from the playoffs with weeks still to go and no path in sight to become a contender anytime in the near future. The lackluster season has kicked off widespread rumors that Walton will be relieved of his coaching duties once the season ends, and a number of names have been mentioned as potential successors.
A new report points to a familiar face for LeBron — Tyronn Lue, his former coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As Stephen A. Smith noted on his podcast, the team is giving strong consideration to Lue, who has a proven track record of success with LeBron in bringing the Cavaliers to three straight NBA Finals and giving Cleveland its first-ever title.
Smith credited Lue with making the right adjustments during the regular season and postseason to help the stacked Cavaliers team finally get over the hump, and overcome a three games to one deficit in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in doing so.
Smith believes that Lue would also be a good fit for LeBron James, who has a history of clashing with coaches.
“Here’s the deal. Ty Lue is proven. LeBron respects the hell out of him,” Smith said. “Wouldn’t mind him being the next coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. These are all true things.”
Rumors indicate that the “LeBron factor” could be a major consideration as the Los Angeles Lakers likely look for a new coach. Other reports had connected Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers to the Lakers, but reports said he was wary of joining a team with such a dominating personality like LeBron.
Marc Stein: Tyronn Lue has 'significant advantage over the rest of the field' to land Lakers job https://t.co/AVh1R2dW6k
— LeBron Wire (@LeBron_Wire) March 27, 2019
Michael Wilbon said on a recent episode of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption— per Bleacher Report— that Rivers had been warned about LeBron, that he isn’t interested in being coached at this point in his career. In Cleveland, James was given wide leeway to push for personnel decisions, reportedly instructing the team in how to build the team around him and what role players to select. It is not clear if James has been given the same power in Los Angeles, or if he might have any say in the likely coaching search that will be kicked off later this spring.