Ty Lue will take over as new Clippers head coach, replacing Doc Rivers

Ty Lue has agreed to terms on a deal to coach the Los Angeles Clippers, two people familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the team made an official announcement.

Lue, who was a candidate for top coaching jobs with Houston and New Orleans, was the assistant coach for Doc Rivers and the Clippers in 2019-20, and he coached the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 championship after taking over for David Blatt midseason.

He inherits a team that features Kawhi Leonard and Paul George but fell short of its goal, blowing a 3-1 series lead to Denver in the Western Conference semifinals amid chemistry issues.

It will be on Lue to address and fix that.

Tyronn Lue will take over as new Clippers head coach.

Lue also guided the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018 and was fired following an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season. In two-and-a-half seasons with Cleveland and LeBron James, he went 128-83. Before joining Blatt’s staff, Lue worked as an assistant for Rivers with the Boston Celtics and Clippers.

Near the end of the 2017-18 regular season, Lue took a leave of absence to address his health, which included “chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep,” he said in a statement at the time. “Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.”

Lue has had solid mentors during his playing and coaching career – Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy, Scott Skiles and Rivers. He has melded those styles into his own, though Lue was never sure as a player that he wanted to coach.

“I just thought he was a natural leader,” Rivers told USA TODAY Sports in 2016. “He has this ability to connect. I love his IQ. I just thought he had the intangibles. He had the ability to tell people what they don’t want to hear. I thought, ‘This kid could be a really good coach someday.’ ”

Rivers floated the coaching idea.

“He thought it was silly,” Rivers said. He said, ‘There’s no way I’ll coach.’ I said, ‘You’ll be a coach. You know it, you’re smart about it and you’ll coach.’ I told him, ‘At some point after you retire, give me a call, I’ll have a job for you.’ ”

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