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Former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, and according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Lue has a “significant advantage” over potential candidates because of his relationship with LeBron James.
Despite the addition of James, the Lakers have missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year. They are widely expected to part ways with coach Luke Walton after the season.
Former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has also expressed interest in the job, though it is not known if the feeling is mutual from the Lakers.
Lue and James had a strong relationship when the two were together with the Cavs, who won the championship in 2016 and advanced to the Finals four straight seasons. But Lue also needed time off with what the team described as exhaustion, as the drama that comes with coaching James seemed to wear down Lue.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN first noted the Lakers’ interest in Lue, all but eliminating Kidd as a potential candidate.
Lue spent his first three seasons as a player with the Lakers (1999-2001). He later played for the Washington Wizards, making him a teammate of both the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as Michael Jordan with the Wizards.
He compiled a 128-83 record (.607) as coach of the Cavaliers in the regular season, as well as a 41-20 mark (.672) during the playoffs.
Lue spent time volunteering with Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this season after being fired by the Cavs in November, Rivers has said.