It feels like it’s only a matter of time before the Brooklyn Nets bring in Tyronn Lue for an official interview. Lue, currently an assistant coach for Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers, has been in high demand ever since he won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. Lue turned down a 3 year, $18M deal to coach Lebron and the Lakers in May last year. Lue has now expressed interest in coaching the Brooklyn Nets and with the team letting Kenny Atkinson go shortly before the season was suspended, it seems as though Lue will be a top candidate for yet another lucrative coaching opportunity.
Multiple Former Nets Endorse Lue as next Brooklyn Head Coach
Lue has received ringing endorsements from former Nets, Richard Jefferson, and Paul Pierce. Jefferson, a member of the Cavaliers championship team Lue coached in 2016, spoke about why he thinks Lue would be a great fit for Brooklyn: “There are so many great young coaches out there who deserve an opportunity. T-Lue, to me, is the No. 1 young coach. He can coach. He can do all that stuff. He has a proven track record. So do I think T-Lue can coach this team? Do I think he can be successful? Yes.” (quote from New York Daily News article by Stefan Bondy)
Jefferson played 17 seasons in the NBA before retiring, his most efficient years being for the Nets, and has become an excellent analyst for Nets games on the YES network pairing wonderfully with Ian Eagle and Sarah Kustok. Jefferson has mentioned in the past he would not be open to coaching currently.
Paul Pierce, who played for Brooklyn in the 2013-2014 season, also gave Lue a glowing recommendation for the position on ESPN’s “The Jump” Tuesday, saying “I think he would be a great fit. Are they going to be a championship-caliber team if you put Ty Lue in there and add (Kevin Durant) with Kyrie Irving? Yes. Can they do it? We have yet to see. Or it has yet to happen. But a great fit all across the board, I believe.”
It’s interesting to see former players giving Lue the nod to be the next Brooklyn HC. Many fans (myself included) believe Lue’s success in Cleveland was attributed to the stellar play of Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, more so than it was his coaching savvy. One can make the argument when you’re the coach of a Top 3 player of all time, success should come often and easily.
Nevertheless, Lue has had success with Kyrie Irving in the past. He will have to mesh well with Durant as well, which should be an easy task given Durant’s style of play and reputation as a “coach-able” player. If Lue becomes the Nets HC, he will have his work cut out for him in an Eastern Conference that has drastically improved in the last several years.