Tyronn Lue interested in coaching Nets, reuniting with Kyrie Irving, per report

Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue and Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving have had some solid success together. Both helped the Cleveland Cavaliers capture the franchise’s first NBA title in 2016 before the two went their separate ways. However, a reunion apparently isn’t out of the question as Lue is interested in becoming Brooklyn’s head coach, and in turn getting another opportunity to coach Irving, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Lue joined Doc Rivers’ Clippers coaching staff in August after discussions with the Lakers to become their next head coach didn’t materialize. Despite the fact that their time together in Cleveland ended with Irving demanding a trade, Lue would have Irving’s support in his bid to become the Nets’ next head coach, as a recent report suggested that Irving would indeed prefer Lue in Brooklyn

Jacque Vaughn was named Brooklyn’s interim head coach in early March after the Nets and Kenny Atkinson mutually agreed to part ways. Vaughn held the position for just two games before the 2019-20 season was suspended indefinitely due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Ultimately, he might not get much of an opportunity to prove himself in Brooklyn.

The 2020-21 season is set to be an extremely important one for Brooklyn. After landing two superstars in Kevin Durant and Irving last summer, they had an underwhelming campaign this season, due largely to Durant being sidelined with an Achilles injury and Irving’s recurring injury issues during his first year in Brooklyn. As it stands, however, the Nets (30-34) sit in seventh place in the East and would be eligible for the postseason in a traditional format.

Next season, though, when both Durant and Irving are healthy, there will be legitimate championship expectations in Brooklyn, and the organization may very well want to hire an experienced coach to steer the ship. Title windows don’t open up very often, and the Nets will want to ensure that they do all that they can to optimize their opportunity. 

A recent report suggested that Durant and Irving would like to see the Nets hire a “blue chip” coach, and Vaughn doesn’t quite fit that description. Before Brooklyn, he served as Orlando’s head coach from 2012 to 2015, but was fired midway through his third season after compiling a 58-158 overall record with no playoff appearances. As a coach with a championship resume and an existing relationship with Irving, Lue certainly fits the bill. 

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