Report: Tyronn Lue pitched Lakers on approaching Tom Thibodeau to be his lead assistant

Tyronn Lue
Oct 21, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue shouts out a play during the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers have now had a second set of interviews with both Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue, at least. They have also reportedly met with Juwan Howard and Jason Kidd.

While there is no indication of which path the organization will take, it seems clear that Williams and Lue are the front runners. As some reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski claim, however, Lue may have pushed himself ahead due to an “emotional” connection with owner Jeanie Buss due to his desire to return to the Lakers, as well as the pitch to pursue Tom Thibodeau as his lead assistant (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll)

There are positives and negatives to this news, if true. On one hand, it’s the same old schtick that the Lakers keep running of having former players and people connected to the organization running things. That’s what got them to this mess in the first place and given everything we have heard about the brain trust of this operation, it doesn’t seem like they have learned a lesson.

On the other hand, Lue seems to be the best candidate out of the group that the Lakers are looking at. He is the most accomplished, he has the LeBron James connection and he’s shown signs of being a really good coach despite his relative inexperience. That he’s willing to pursue some of the top available coaches to be his assistants, no matter how unlikely (Woj reports that Thibodeau prefers to find a head coaching job), is a positive sign. After all, his predecessor’s inability to hire a strong supporting staff is arguably the reason he was fired.

Thibodeau flamed out in Minnesota and his coaching style may be outdated. But he has shown the ability to be an elite defensive schemer and could theoretically shore up Lue’s biggest coaching flaw.

According to the LA Times’ Broderick Turner, the Lakers were impressed by Lue during their interview process. But Woj reports that they also met with Williams for five and a half hours, so it seems like they are doing their absolute due diligence to find the best possible fit for the team. That’s at least an encouraging sign.

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