Following an insanely disappointing season by the Clippers, they made a bold move by replacing their long-time coach Doc Rivers with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.
The idea for Steve Ballmer and the front office is that handing control to Lue will ignite a much-needed culture shift for the franchise, especially regarding their two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who were getting preferential treatment by the team throughout last season.
The good news for LA is, Lue's experience with stars seems to be one of accountability, as one of his colleagues revealed to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com.
“Lue’s ability to earn the trust of superstars is an invaluable trait,” Arnovitz wrote. “In the words of one of his colleagues, Lue is an expert at going after a star player without leaving a scar. Another source recalled a timeout during one of Lue’s first games as a head coach in Cleveland in January 2016, when LeBron James and Kyrie Irving interjected to contradict a tactical adjustment. Lue responded, without ire or defensiveness, ‘Why don’t you guys play and I’ll coach the f—ing team.'”
If Lue had no problem speaking that way to LeBron James, of all people, it certainly shouldn't be a problem with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
If the Clippers really are looking to establish a more disciplined, orderly culture, it's safe to bet they picked the right guy to take control of the locker room. But what kind of results it will translate to on the court remain to be seen.