Only days after Tyronn Lue was interviewed for the head coach position for the Houston Rockets, he flew back to Los Angeles to finalise a five-year coaching contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.
Tyronn Lue started his career as part of the coaching staff for the Clippers way back in 2013 and then moved to Cleveland Cavaliers as the associate head coach under David Blatt. Blatt was fired mid-season in 2016, and Lue took over after signing a three-year contract. He eventually led the Cavs to the championship.
In 2017, after leading the Cavs back to the NBA Finals but losing to the Golden State Warriors, Lue took a leave of absence due to health reasons. He came back in 2018, guiding the Cavs to the exact same results.
He went back to the Clippers as part of Doc Rivers' staff in the 2019-2020 season.
As a player, Lue had an unremarkable career playing for several teams. He was part of the Los Angeles Lakers championship team in 2000 and 2001 during the Shaq and Kobe era as a reserve guard behind Derek Fisher.
Lue has been in discussion with the Lakers since 2019 for the head coaching position, but decided to walk away from the deal after the Lakers offered a condition that they will get to choose who will serve as his assistants.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer fired Rivers last month after the second-seed Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference playoffs. According to the New York Times, Ballmer decided that despite Rivers' stature as a well-respected coach, the team needed a new leader who needs to be responsible for the end-results of the team.
The Clippers secured two superstars this season, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Both players are guaranteed to stay with the Clippers until the coming season. Critics say there's a lack of chemistry between the two superstars, leading to sub-par results the loss in the playoffs.