Tyronn Lue says he wants to keep coaching Clippers, passes on addressing speculation over Lakers

DALLAS — Tyronn Lue said he wants to be coach of the Los Angeles Clippers for the longterm and declined to address directly speculation that the Lakers would target him in their search after firing Darvin Ham.

Lue was asked about his future and the talk of the Lakers after Dallas ended the Clippers season with a 114-101 victory in Game 6 of a first-round series Friday night.

“I don’t really have a comment on that,” Lue said when asked about his name surfacing in the Lakers’ search. “It’s great to be wanted. That’s a really good feeling. Like I said, I want to be here. Hopefully, we’re able to solidify that.”

A day after turning 47, Lue said he felt strong support from owner Steve Ballmer and team president Lawrence Frank among others. Lue has two years remaining on his contract, and ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported that the Clippers are interested in an extension.

“I didn’t come in to bounce around, go all over the place,” Lue said. “They’ve all been great to me. Just having a great relationship with the owner, with the front office. It’s great. I would love to be here longterm.”

The Clippers were without star forward Kawhi Leonard in four of the six games against the Mavericks with right knee inflammation. He missed three of five games in a first-round loss to Phoenix last year.

“I give our guys credit for just sticking with it through all the ups and downs and all the negative scrutiny and all the things that they went through this season,” Lue said. “Having to go into a series again short-handed.”

Lue coached Cleveland to the 2016 NBA title with LeBron James, who left for the Lakers in free agency two years later. Lue was gone just six games — all losses — into the season after James’ departure from the Cavaliers.

Lue was an assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Clippers before taking over when Rivers and the club mutually parted ways following the 2019-20 season. Rivers ended up in Philadelphia.

The Clippers reached the Western Conference finals in Lue’s first season and have a 184-134 record in the regular season under him.

Leonard is under contract in 2024-25, and fellow All-Star Paul George has a player option. James Harden, a 10-time All-Star added in an early-season trade, is a free agent.

“This was a good year,” Lue said. “Overall, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, outside the early ending. I like the guys in the locker room. They respect me. I respect them. I’m ready to move on to next season and get better.”


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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