Lue was not the unanimous favorite to replace Walton among the Lakers’ many decision-makers in the wake of Magic Johnson’s abrupt April 9 resignation. He was indeed favored over Monty Williams, but there were some nagging fears among a minority of the team’s power brokers — as mentioned here previously — that hiring LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers coach would be giving James too much control in Lakerland.
Lue’s supporters within the organization ultimately deduced that there was only one way Lue could rise to the level of unanimous choice to succeed Walton — by waiting until Williams was no longer available. Hence the relatively slow pace, spanning a full month, of the Lakers’ search for Walton’s successor.
It must be noted that the Lakers hadn’t made the hiring of Lue official as of this newsletter’s publication Tuesday afternoon. Putting more distance between Williams’ hiring in Phoenix and a Lue announcement appears to matter greatly to them, which is strange when you consider that the Lakers have appeared utterly unconcerned for so long by the unflattering optics stemming from their refusal to modernize so many other elements of the operation.
The reports of Lue wanting to add his former colleague in Boston, Tom Thibodeau, to his coaching staff are also true. LeBron, through intermediaries, has let it be known that Thibodeau would be a huge asset to have on the bench. LeBron’s close associates were gauging Thibodeau’s interest in becoming a top assistant two weeks ago. It would be similar to the role Mike Brown and Ron Adams serve under Steve Kerr in Golden State. Thibodeau, however, is owed a lot of money from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the feeling is that he would prefer a head coaching job. Thibodeau has the resume and income to be patient. Plus, after dealing with an unstable management group in Minnesota, Thibodeau may be taking a wait-and-see approach with the “new-look” Lakers.
A person close to LeBron has denied that LeBron is pushing for any head coach or assistant coach which is in keeping with LeBron’s “I just work here” public posture. The same person was willing to acknowledge that LeBron has the “utmost respect” for Thibodeau.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Tyronn Lue are in the process of working on a contract agreement that would make Lue the franchise’s next head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lue, 42, has not accepted the position yet as both sides continue to focus on contractual parameters, sources said.
If Lue takes the job, Frank Vogel — former coach of the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic — could join his staff as a lead assistant, sources said. Kurt Rambis — a former Lakers player and coach whose wife, Linda, is a trusted confidant and adviser to team owner Jeanie Buss — has had a significant role in the hiring process, sources said.
The Los Angeles Lakers are proceeding toward an offer to Ty Lue in the coming days and have no plans to introduce new candidates into their head-coaching search, league sources told ESPN. The team has been on its own timetable throughout this process and has yet to offer the job to any candidate, league sources said.
The Lakers are poised to make an offer to Tyronn Lue to become their next head coach, and he will come with two endorsers who have 10 Lakers championships between them. Phil Jackson, who coached Lue, and Magic Johnson, who stepped down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations last month, told Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss that they supported the hiring of Lue, according to a person familiar with their discussions.
Johnson and Buss had a dinner Thursday night during which they discussed Buss’ pending decision. Johnson expressed his support for Lue and impressed upon Buss how difficult a feat it is to make three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the source said. Buss had been taking her time to be deliberate and not have the Lakers rush into any decision.
Lue and James remained close and are both expected to attend the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs on Saturday in Las Vegas, where Lue has a home. There were some in the Lakers organization who worried about the perception that if they hired Lue, James had too much power within the organization. Ultimately, the Lakers have decided not to worry about such perceptions.
The last two people the Lakers interviewed for their head-coaching vacancy — Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams on Thursday and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue on Wednesday — were impressed by how thorough the Lakers’ contingent was during their conversations with both men, according to people familiar with the talks.
Neither Williams nor Lue were offered the job and neither was given a timetable on when the Lakers will make their decision, said the people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Miami assistant coach Juwan Howard also impressed the Lakers during his interview Tuesday at the practice facility in El Segundo, according to people with knowledge of the talks.
Bill Oram: The Lakers are sending a big contingent to Philadelphia today for Monty Williams' second interview, sources tell @sam_amick and me. Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss leading a group that also includes Joey Buss, Jesse Buss, Kurt and Linda Rambis, and COO Tim Harris.
The goal is seemingly to move Rambis to the bench as an associate head coach. But if that doesn’t work, he could become the assistant general manager.
The Suns appear determined to preempt a Lakers offer, which sources say was part of the timing in the dismissal of former coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday. The Lakers will have completed second interviews with Williams and Ty Lue before the end of Thursday night, and could be closer to reaching a decision on whom to offer the job.
August 10, 2022 | 4:20 am EDT Update
Furthermore, the first-year head coach said one wrinkle he will implement and stick with is having the offense run through Anthony Davis, and James concurred, sources said. The team has been encouraged with Davis’ offseason progression and believe he’ll be in optimum shape to avoid serious injuries and carry a heavier load.
James is finalizing a destination to host the team’s annual minicamp prior to training camp, with San Diego being the likely landing space over Las Vegas, sources said. He’s hoping to build a better rapport with teammates before entering the 2022-23 season. The meeting was deemed productive and informative. Pelinka made his feelings clear that he wants James to retire as a Laker and promised to provide him with every resource possible to compete for a championship each year he’s with the organization, sources said.
And while contract dialogue was broached, the majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure, league sources told Yahoo Sports. James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship.
As for roster tinkering, Pelinka explained patience will be key in any potential moves the team makes, sources said. In a collaborative effort, all parties appear to be aligned on a common vision of seeing how the roster plays out before any drastic moves are sought.
Do you get the sense that the Lakers are trying to make two separate trades using the firsts? One with Westbrook and one with Horton-Tucker/Nunn/etc.? — @crownroyalpapi_ Jovan Buha: Yes, insofar as I think the ultimate price to trade Westbrook will include attaching two first-round picks. If the Lakers can finagle an alternate outcome — be it a pick swap or two second-round picks — that’s a win for them, in my opinion. That seems unlikely, though, which is why there’s a possibility Westbrook isn’t traded. Between the two trades mentioned, the Lakers would prefer the Irving option. I think that’s a deal they’d eventually be willing to include two first-round picks for. I don’t think they’d be willing to do so in the Indiana deal.
Nets star Kyrie Irving wants to make it clear he does not hate coach Steve Nash or general manager Sean Marks despite what a source told The Post about his feelings Monday. “I am not sure where this narrative is coming from but Kyrie does not hate Steve nor Sean. That’s not a part of his being nor how he represents himself in the world. He’s about peace, love and acceptance,” his agent and stepmother Shetallia Riley Irving told The Post.
Durant, among other things, was not consulted on the Nets’ firing of assistant coach and director of player development Adam Harrington when the season ended, the source believes. “There are simple things that erode a relationship. You fired someone he was close to and didn’t have a conversation about it,” the source said.