Ty Lue with Lakers


Ty Lue with Lakers' LeBron James


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Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

A Tyronn Lue-LeBron James reunion is not happening.

Lue quickly shut down the door on jumping to the Los Angeles Lakers following the Los Angeles Clippers‘ first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs.

“I don’t really have a comment on that,” Lue told reporters after Friday’s 114-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 which ended the Clippers’ season. “I mean it’s great to be wanted you know that’s a really good feeling but like I said I want to be here and hopefully we’re able to solidify that.”

In the aftermath of Darvin Ham’s firing, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Shams Charania reported that Lue would immediately become a Lakers coaching candidate if he parts ways with the Clippers after their early playoff exit.

However, the Clippers are planning to pursue a contract extension with Lue, who will enter the final year of his current deal in 2025-26, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“I didn’t come here to bounce around and go all over the place,” Lue said. “And Mr. [Steve] Ballmer, Lawrence [Frank], Mark [Hughes], Trent [Redden], Gillian [Zucker], they’ve all been great to me. This is where I want to be, and hopefully they feel the same way. So I haven’t had a bad experience since I’ve been here. Mr. Ballmer showed me a lot of different things that I wouldn’t be privy to if I wasn’t here.

“… Just having a great relationship with the owner, with the front office, it is great. And so I would love to be here long term.”

“I didn’t come here to bounce around and go all over the place… I would love to be here long term.”

Clippers HC Ty Lue on his future with LA

James praised Lue after a Lakers win over Clippers in January.

“Nah, it’s the T-Lue Clippers,” James said when a reporter initially described them as “James Harden’s Clippers.” “I know T-Lue very well. It don’t take T-Lue long to make sure s–t get right. It took him five games, and they’ve been cooking since.”


Ty Lue Felt Disrespected by Lakers

Lue was the Lakers’ first choice in 2019 before they settled with Frank Vogel.

But Lue declined the Lakers offer as he felt disrespected.

“The Lakers [saw it] more so as like [I’m just] coming to coach LeBron,” Lue told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk in 2022. “No, I’m coming to win. I just didn’t think I was treated fairly. And I wasn’t just going to accept any offer just to get a job.

“I just thought I was better than that.”

The Lakers lowballed Lue.

According to Youngmisuk, “the Lakers offered Lue a three-year deal worth $18 million, far below the five-year, $35-million deal he had with the Cavs, and wanted to dictate Lue’s staff.”

Lue started his NBA playing career with the Lakers and won two championships with them in 2000 and 2001.


The Other Coaching Candidates

Aside from Lue, four early coaching options have emerged for the Lakers.

Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, ESPN analyst JJ Redick and Boston Celtics assistant coach Charles Lee are all options, according to The Athletic.

Ham and Lee both worked as assistant coaches under Budenholzen in Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Atkinson was a former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He left the Nets shortly after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving went to Brooklyn in 2019.

Meanwhile, Redick is a 16-year NBA veteran who successfully transitioned to becoming a podcaster and broadcaster in his post-retirement. He co-hosts the “Mind the Game” podcast with James.

Lee and Redick are also serious candidates for the Charlotte Hornets coaching job.

Alder Almo is a basketball journalist covering the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo



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