The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be closing in on their next head coach. After Monty Williams agreed to become the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Tyronn Lue has emerged as the clear favorite to land the head coaching job in Los Angeles.
In fact, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Lue has always been the favorite for the Lakers because of his success coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015 to 2019, and a recommendation from former Lakers coach Phil Jackson helped push him over the finish line:
Ty Lue is in Las Vegas and is waiting to hear from the Lakers about the job, per sources. His reps and the Lakers are supposed to talk today about trying to get a deal done. Lue has always been Lakers top choice, per source.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) May 3, 2019
That Ty Lue won NBA championship in Cleveland with LeBron James in 2016, showed he will hold even LeBron accountable and was great at Xs and Os impressed Lakers, per sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) May 3, 2019
Former Lakers great championship coach Phil Jackson also suggested to owner Jeanie Buss that Ty Lue would be a really good coach for the Lakers, per sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) May 3, 2019
What is Lue doing in Vegas, you might ask? Is he already celebrating his new position? While that’s possible, he already had plans to be in Sin City for the Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs fight on Saturday, according to Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times. Plans that involve his former (and soon to be current) player, LeBron James:
If there was any doubt that Lue was going to get the job, it has been thrown out the window. However, the idea that the job was always Lue’s to have is worth questioning.
While Lue was always considered a favorite be the Lakers’ next head coach, he wasn’t the lone favorite. Last month, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Williams was also considered a frontrunner for the job.
That may have changed as interviews started to get more thorough, but it’s also possible that Williams taking another job helped the Lakers make their decision. Regardless of how they got here, though, it seems as though the Lakers will be adding a qualified and successful head coach to their sideline next season, which is more than they’ve been able to say about their head coaching position for the last decade or so. Only time will tell if Lue works out better than the last few.