Tyronn Lue hired to helm Kawhi Leonard, Clippers as head coach: reports


Tyronn Lue has agreed to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

A person with knowledge of the situation said final terms were still being worked on. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because no contract had been signed.

Lue will replace Doc Rivers, who had coached the Clippers for the last seven seasons and is now coaching the Philadelphia 76ers. Lue, 43, was on the 59-year-old Rivers’ staff this season when the Clippers wasted a 3-1 lead over Denver and lost in the Western Conference semifinals.

ESPN first reported the agreement between Lue and the Clippers, saying it was a five-year deal.

It’s not the first time Lue has been promoted to head coach in the NBA in the wake of a firing. He was on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ staff when he replaced the fired David Blatt during the 2015-16 season. Under Lue’s guidance, the Cavs and LeBron James went on to win their first-ever NBA championship that season, making Lue one of the few rookie coaches in the league to ever lead his team to a title.

Lue, who won two NBA championships as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers, went 128-83 in parts of four seasons as Cavs coach. He coached the team to the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, but both times they lost to Golden State. He was fired after an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season.

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Lue was in his second stint with the Clippers, having joined them initially in July 2013. The following June, he went to Cleveland.

Lue’s hiring means there are now six Black head coaches currently in the NBA as he joins Rivers in Philadelphia, Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta, J.B. Bickerstaff in Cleveland, Monty Williams in Phoenix and Dwane Casey in Detroit.

Lue also was a candidate for other jobs this off-season, including in Houston and New Orleans.

The Clippers — in the first season of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George playing together — went 49-23 this regular season, the fourth-best record in franchise history.

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