Clippers' Ty Lue: 'No Regrets' Passing on Chance to Coach LeBron, Lakers in 2019

Jenna CiccotelliContributor IIIOctober 22, 2020

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit. Tyronn Lue has agreed in principle to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. Final terms were still being worked on, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, because no contract had been signed. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Newly minted as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tyronn Lue told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he has "no regrets" about declining a head coaching job with the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in 2019.

"No regrets," he said (starting at the 2:08 mark). "It's part of the business. Of course I'm happy for LeBron; that's my guy. But I have no regrets. I think the decision I made was great." 

Lue, who was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018 after an 0-6 start to his fourth season with the team, was offered the head coaching job with the Lakers before talks between the sides "abruptly collapsed," according to the New York Times' Marc Stein

Stein reported that the Lakers offered Lue a three-year contract worth $20 million, but the two-time NBA champion as a player wanted a long-term deal since he had also led Cleveland to a title in 2016. Stein also added that the team wanted to approve Lue's assistant coaches, which was "among the factors leading to the breakdown." 

Frank Vogel was hired to coach the Lakers in May 2019. Lue accepted an assistant role with the Clippers last October. The 43-year-old accepted the head coaching position Tuesday, signing a five-year deal. 

"I'm very happy with my decision, so I have no regrets," Lue said. "Everything I do in life is for a reason. I pray about it, my mom prays about it and then we just kind of go from there. This situation is great for me." 

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Lue was not fazed by the expectations that come with his new gig, even though stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can opt out of their contracts following the 2020-21 season. 

"If you don't have pressure, that means you're not in a situation where you can win a championship," Lue told Nichols. "So I welcome that pressure, because I want to win."