The LA Clippers just barely missed the playoffs this season, but it was largely because of Ty Lue’s proficiency that the team was ever in the conversation for postseason play. The 2016 NBA champion helped lead a Clippers team to the 8th seed that missed Kawhi Leonard for the entire season and Paul George for most of the season. Had Paul George not entered health and safety protocols just hours prior to the final play-in game, the Clippers likely would have made the postseason over a New Orleans Pelicans team that finished six games behind them in the standings.
Ty Lue has long escaped the idea that he is simply a product of LeBron James, but if anyone were still wrongfully holding onto that narrative, they should listen to what Andre Iguodala had to say during Golden State’s NBA Finals media session.
“I think Tyronn Lue has done an incredible job of kind of silencing those critics in terms of, you know, he’s a very welcoming type of coach, players’ coach, but he knows his stuff, his X’s and O’s,” Iguodala said when asked about the number of Black head coaches in the NBA.
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Iguodala continued on Ty Lue, saying, “He’s probably one of the most feared coaches in the league in terms of when an opposing team goes up against them, their antenna goes up in terms of the scout. You rarely see that type of energy towards the opposing coach, we know we’re in for a tough game because no matter who’s playing for his team, they’re going to be able to rise to the occasion and expose your weaknesses.”
Iguodala credited Ty Lue with helping break down the inaccurate stereotypes that have followed both Black head coaches and head coaches that were former players. Rather than just a player-friendly coach, which Ty Lue is, Iguodala recognizes that the Clippers’ leader is much more than that, which helps pave the way for others like him.