The Los Angeles Clippers and former assistant coach Tyronn Lue have finalized a five-year deal to make him the new head coach of the franchise.
The deal, which was agreed upon early Thursday afternoon, had the blessing of many players within the organization, according to a source. Lue was one of two finalists for the position, as the team also spoke to assistant Sam Cassell. Lue will be replacing long-time head coach Doc Rivers, who stepped down a few weeks ago and has since taken over as head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lue, 43, won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 after taking over when David Blatt was fired during the All-Star break. In his tenure with Cleveland, Lue went to the Finals three straight years, going 128-83 overall and 41-20 in the playoffs. As a former player, Lue won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. The hope within the franchise is that his championship pedigree and strong communication skills will resonate with a team that had plenty of communication issues in the Western Conference Semifinals, where the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, denying themselves of their first-ever trip to the conference finals.
Chauncey Billups, who was in the mix for the Indiana Pacers’ head coaching position, will be joining Lue as his lead assistant. Former Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew will reportedly be joining as an assistant as well.
Former NBA Champion Dwayne Wade gave his praise for the higher.