Clippers Inevitable Hiring Of Ty Lue Is Psychological Warfare Against Lakers

Former Cleveland Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was supposed to be the head coach of the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led Lakers, but the deal fell through during contract negotiations. The Lakers didn’t want to meet Lue’s demands and chose to go with Frank Vogel, plus a head-coach-in-waiting named Jason Kidd

The Lakers and the Clippers are among the Top 5 favorites to win the NBA title this season because of powerful offseason moves. The Lakers are building a strong contender with Bron and AD and the Clippers were able to land Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, thrusting Doc Rivers back into the championship mix for the first time since he coached Boston’s Big Three to a title. 

The LA rivalry is already stacked with possibilities and the city will be in a basketball uproar the next few seasons. When Lue left Hollywood without a deal done, it left a bad taste in his mouth. 

 Lue is getting his revenge by inking a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to join Doc Rivers‘ staff. You know he wants to crush the Lakers for being cheap and belittling his worth as a championship coach. Every Lakers-Clippers game will be personal for Lue. The celebrity atmosphere and social media mosh pit that will accompany the games make Lue’s upcoming battles against LeBron and the new-look Lakers a high stakes, personal ordeal.

Hiring Lue — mastercraftsmen who has been credited with being able to positively channel LeBron’s ambition and passion on and off the court — could provide the Clippers with a real advantage when it comes to exploiting the King’s weaknesses. 

At the very least, it shows that the Clippers are down with psychological warfare and leaving no stone unturned to get the upper hand in this rivalry. 

In three-plus seasons leading the Cavaliers, Lue posted a 128-83 record and guided the franchise to three straight NBA Finals appearances. After the Cavaliers parted ways with Lue, he worked in an informal role with Rivers in Los Angeles. Lue also served as an assistant coach on Rivers’ staff with the Boston Celtics.

If anyone can construct a game plan to stop King James it’s Lue who has analyzed LeBron at his best and worst. Lue teaming up with Doc Rivers gives the Clippers the best two African-American coaches in the NBA on one staff. If nothing else, the move adds more drama to an NBA season flooded with narratives, multi-layered storylines, opportunities for redemption and classic confrontations.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.