LeBron James uninvolved in Lakers’ expected hiring of Tyronn Lue
The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly will extend an offer to Tyronn Lue to be the team’s next head coach in the coming days. Contrary to popular opinion, though, LeBron James is not believed to have been part of the process.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday the Lakers are expected to “move toward” a Lue hire to replace Luke Walton. Things in that regard presumably came to a head after Monty Williams agreed to take the head coaching job with the Phoenix Suns.
While the longstanding and widespread belief in NBA circles that James would wield his unparalleled power as a player in the Lakers’ coaching search, the latest word is that the superstar, along with agent Rich Paul, receded into the shadows as the process played out.
Ty Lue and LeBron have spoken within the last few weeks, and of course 23 would welcome a reunion with his coach from the Cavs. But neither LeBron nor Rich Paul told the Lakers whom to hire as coach — per sources— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) May 3, 2019
Lue of course coached James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to three straight appearances in the NBA Finals from 2016 to 2018, only to be fired in the wake of James’ departure to L.A. after only six games this past season.
James has long been considered a quasi-player/coach/general manager throughout his NBA career, and the word is that the Lakers were sensitive to the outside perception that James would be pulling the strings in the search for a new coach.
In the end, whether or not James was involved in the Lakers’ coaching search to whatever extent is largely a moot point. The narrative has been established that he was not — at least at this point — which arguably serves both James and Lakers well with the Lue hiring.