Tyronn Lue says it’s ‘great to be wanted’ amid Lakers speculation; he’s focused on coaching Clippers


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NBA champion head coach Tyronn Lue remains focused on his future with the Los Angeles Clippers — not the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs after the team lost 114-101 to the Dallas Mavericks May 3.

According to The Athletic, the Clippers plan to pursue a contract extension with Lue this offseason. After Friday’s loss, Lue was asked whether he expected to remain with the Clippers. 


“I hope so. … You know, I hope so. I didn’t come here to bounce around and go all over the place,” Lue, who turned 47 Friday, said.


The coach also spoke about his strong relationship with Clippers ownership and the front office.

“Mr. Ballmer, Lawrence (Frank, president of basketball operations), Mark Hughes (assistant general manger), Trent (Redden, general manager), Gillian (Zucker, president of business operations) … they’ve all been great to me. This is where I want to be, and hopefully they feel the same way. I haven’t had a better experience since I’ve been here. Mr. Ballmer showed me a lot of different things that I wouldn’t be privy to if I wasn’t here.”


Lue declined to directly address speculation the Lakers would target him in their search after firing Darvin Ham.

“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.”

Lue has two years remaining on his contract.

The Clippers were without star forward Kawhi Leonard in four of the six games against the Mavericks due to his 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.


“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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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