The fact that Tyronn Lue will be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is perhaps the worst-kept "secret" in professional sports, but the the team took the next step towards hiring him on Friday when they (finally) officially reached out to him to discuss the job they've been expected to offer him ever since it became clear Monty Williams was no longer an option.
Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner — basically the Woodward and Bernstein of this coaching search — broke the news for The L.A. Times:
The Lakers began conversations with Tyronn Lue’s representatives Friday, Lue’s 42nd birthday, and those discussions are expected to end their search for a head coach.
While this news doesn't officially make Lue getting hired a done deal, and the two sides obviously have to work out a contract they both agree on, all signs seem to point to this getting done soon.
For one thing, Lakers star LeBron James clearly wants this to happen, even if he and his representatives reportedly aren’t directly telling the Lakers to get it done. There is also the fact that the Lakers are already selling this in a way that makes it seem like a decision that was preordained by the Lakers greats, with leaks that everyone from former coach Phil Jackson to Magic Johnson are endorsing Lue for the gig. At some point I’m sure we’ll get a leak that he was always Kobe Bryant’s favorite teammate too, or something, just to complete the Lakers lore carwash.
So if this is so done done, what’s the hold up? Well, Lue — and James and his reps, for that matter — are in Las Vegas for the Canelo-Jacobs fight, which probably means it will take slightly longer to hammer out the details, and while the two sides already had two interviews to talk over how Lue would handle the job, they probably need a few days to iron out specifics like compensation, how many guaranteed years Lue will get and other contract details.
Still, it would seem unlikely that any of those stop this from getting done, and we’ll have more thoughts when it does, so stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for the latest updates as this process finishes up. We’re in the home stretch now. The Lakers almost have a coach.