Tyronn Lue is their new head coach – Press Enterprise

Tyronn Lue is their new head coach – Press Enterprise

Tyronn Lue’s ability to connect with people and to think the game helped seal the deal for the Clippers, who announced Tuesday that the 43-year-old will be the franchise’s 26th head coach, confirming last week’s reporting.

Lue was an assistant coach for the Clippers last season, and before that, he served as the head coach in Cleveland from 2016-18, when the LeBron James-led Cavaliers went 128-83, made it to three consecutive NBA Finals and won the franchise’s first NBA title in 2016.

“Ty has been where we want to go,” Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, said in a news release announcing the hire. “He is a championship head coach with an extraordinary feel for the game and the people who play it. He’s one of the great minds in our league, and he’s able to impart his vision to others because he connects with everybody he meets.

“The pieces we need are in place – committed ownership, smart management, and elite talent, on and off the court, in the NBA’s best market,” Lue said in the statement. “My familiarity with the organization, particularly Mr. (Steve) Ballmer and Lawrence, confirmed this is where I want to be.

“We have work to do to become champions, but we have the motivation, the tools, and the support to get there. I’m excited to get started.”

After bringing aboard All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last season, the Clippers’ goal remains to win their franchise’s first title. Lue is right, there’s work to do: They collapsed in the postseason in the Lake Buena Vista, Fla., bubble after losing a 3-1 series lead (and several large in-game leads) against the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, the team’s second bitter second-round playoff collapse in five seasons.

In discussions following the too-early exit, Coach Doc Rivers and team owner Ballmer decided to go different ways, opening the door for Lue.

Now, there’s only one season remaining before both Leonard and George can opt out of their contracts. The Clippers also must decide whether they want to re-sign free agents Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris Sr., and if JaMychal Green opts out of his deal, him too.

Lue previously worked on the Clippers staff as an assistant to Rivers from 2013-14. He joined the team after spending two years with the Boston Celtics, as an assistant coach and the director of basketball development.

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