The Los Angeles Clippers have been without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for the majority of this season. However, they have still been a respectable team with the pieces that they currently have. The Los Angeles Clippers are currently 36-37 and 8th in the Western Conference.
A huge part of their success has been due to the coaching of Tyronn Lue. He is well-known for being a versatile coach that tries out a lot of different things. Tyronn Lue once claimed that he doesn't care about what other people think of his coaching and that he does things because he truly believes they'll win him the game.
“I try anything man because I don’t care. I don’t care what people think, I don’t care what y’all write and what y’all say. I just do what I believe that’s gonna work and what’s right,” Lue said, per Tomer Azarly.
The Los Angeles Clippers have had some notable comebacks this season, and one of them was a huge 35 point comeback against the Washington Wizards. There's no doubt that a coach who can inspire such an effort from his team is fantastic. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, even revealed that coach Ty Lue received a call from team superstar Kawhi Leonard after the win, to seemingly congratulate him on his accomplishment.
Not long after Tyronn Lue had been doused with cold water by his team after matching the second-largest NBA comeback since 1996, his cellphone was ringing.
On the other end, Lue heard a familiar, distinct and drawn voice.
"So you just going to keep getting down 25, come back and win, huh?" Lue says in his best Kawhi Leonard impression.
For much of their existence, the Clippers have long been the punchline. But since last postseason, they've developed a stubborn habit of pulling off improbable comebacks -- none bigger deficit-wise than erasing that 35-point deficit to stun the Wizards 116-115 -- only trailing Utah Jazz's 36-point come-from-behind win over the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 27, 1996.
There is no doubt that Tyronn Lue is a creative coach that has experience coaching at the highest level. He was notably the coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 when LeBron James led the team to a 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors. The article by Youngmisuk revealed that he had an "opportunity to reunite" with LeBron James in 2019, but Lue ended up pulling out of negotiations because he didn't think he was "treated fairly", as the Lakers wanted to give him a worse deal than the one he had with the Cavaliers.
Lue had an opportunity to reunite with James when the Lakers interviewed him for the coaching job in 2019. But the Lakers offered Lue a three-year deal worth $18 million, far below the five-year, $35-million deal he had with the Cavs, and wanted to dictate Lue's staff. Lue pulled out of negotiations and the Lakers hired Frank Vogel.
"The Lakers [saw it] more so as like [I'm just] coming to coach LeBron," Lue said. "No, I'm coming to win. I just didn't think I was treated fairly. And I wasn't just going to accept any offer just to get a job.
"I just thought I was better than that."
It remains to be seen how far the Los Angeles Clippers will go this season. They don't have a true star currently, but they have solid role players who are disciplined on defense and play the right way on offense.
Talented players are the main factor in winning championships. However, the role of coaching is definitely overlooked by many fans when it comes to a team's success. It's abundantly clear that Tyronn Lue has been key to the Clippers being a decent team this year, and hopefully, he can figure out a way to get them out of the play-in tournament and into the playoffs.