Less than a full season after the departure of LeBron James, Tyronn Lue was cast out of Cleveland for any number of reasons. Now, Lue is on the verge of reuniting with LeBron in Lakerland after reports indicated he left a ‘strong impression’ on the team during the interviews.
But how did he secure the job so quickly? What exactly did he say in these meetings that struck a chord with Jeanie Buss and the rest of the front office? Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports revealed the details, and it makes all too much sense.
“Jeanie Buss, for better or worse, it means something to her to hire people for high-profile jobs who have a connection to the Lakers, who love the Lakers like her father did. They’ve always tried to keep it in the family when they could. That’s why Magic (Johnson) was president, that’s why they’ve hired ex-Lakers all over the place. I know Ty really made a case for how much the Lakers mean to him, what it meant as a player to win a championship there, to play there and now the chance to come back as the head coach, and really struck that chord with her.”
By all accounts, Jeanie is insistent on hiring ex-Lakers to run her organization. She only wants people that understand the culture of the Purple and Gold or is connected to someone who does and has resisted bringing in outside personnel. Say what you want about this strategy, but it has not worked very well so far.
The Lakers are submerged in a playoff drought while boasting their worst recorded stretch of basketball in recent memory. Rather than look around and field more options, Jeanie is content with bringing in Lue seemingly because of his connection with the team.
To Lue’s credit, he is an NBA Champion both as a player and coach, has a history with LeBron James, and has shown a high level of competence in his coaching positions. So, they could certainly do worse.
But the team needs the best right now because the only thing they have going for them is an aging LeBron James who is likely not thrilled about the state of his franchise.