After a tumultuous week in Los Angeles that saw basketball President Magic Johnson step down and head coach Luke Walton part ways with the organization, the Lakers seem to have made their first step towards putting the pieces back together. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are all set to interview Tyronn Lue for the vacant head coaching position.
However, given Lue’s history as LeBron’s lackey, Laker fans were none too pleased to find out that Lue was being seriously considered for the position. Trying to avoid the fate of former LeBron teams when he inevitably leads, many Laker fans took this as a complete 180 from the direction the team has been claiming to go. Fans took to Twitter to roast the mere idea of Lue joining the Lakers.
Lakers Fans Mock Tyronn Lue-LeBron James Reunion on Twitter
Can Ty Lue Work As Head Coach of the Lakers?
Yes, well, sort of. Lue has a history of showing himself capable of leading LeBron. While more often than not that requires deferring to the judgment of your once in a generation superstar, it also requires the unique ability to manage superstar egos. For as much flak as Lue catches for riding LeBron’s coattails, he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being able to keep James relatively happy and locked in for the better part of three years. While things unraveled at the end once Kyrie decided he wanted his own team, Lue took James and the Cavs to three straight finals – winning one.
While Lue doesn’t really make sense as a long term option in Los Angeles, the Lakers made their bed when they decided to sign LeBron James and willingly accelerated their “win now” window. No longer rebuilding for the next decade, the Lakers now have at most a three-year window to grab a ring before LeBron either leaves or simply gets too old. Given the circumstances, Lue actually makes plenty of sense due to his familiarity with LeBron. Moreover, the Lakers have ample cap space and interesting young assets should they decide to fully sell their soul and commit to building a team around LeBron.
Monty Williams and Juwan Howard are likely much better X’s and O’s coaches compared to Lue, but managing LeBron James is far from a typical NBA coaching gig. In every other situation, those two coaches would likely be a much better fit to come in and establish a winning culture. However, neither has experience with James and should the Lakers go that route, they run the risk of having another Luke Walton situation where they are back in the exact same position come next offseason.
Although Lue isn’t the sexy pick, he is the safe pick and gives the Lakers the most dependable chance to get the most out of LeBron and make the Lakers title contenders once again.