Rumor: Tyronn Lue, Jeff Van Gundy Potential Replacements for Doc Rivers
On Monday, LA Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers came to a mutual decision that Rivers would step down as coach of the team. The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In the aftermath, a few names have emerged as potential replacements for Rivers, according to the LA Times' Brad Turner: Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.
Both Lue and Van Gundy have been linked to the Rockets to fill their coaching vacancy as well.
Lue is the most sensible candidate on the list — not only is he already familiar with the team and would likely have the support of its players, but he has enjoyed plenty of success coaching in the modern NBA.
Lue won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 — his first year as a head coach — and made the NBA Finals in the two seasons that followed. Granted, he had LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the championship roster, but it's worth noting that Lue was able to earn the respect of each player in a short period of time.
Van Gundy, on the other hand, is the more experienced option. He served as an assistant with the New York Knicks from 1989 to 1996 before taking over as head coach of the franchise. He remained there until the 2001-2002 season. A few years later, he became head coach of the Rockets from 2003 to 2007. He currently serves as coach of the United States men's national team and as a commentator on ESPN.
Regardless of who becomes the next coach in LA, they'll have plenty of pressure on their shoulders. The Clippers underachieved in 2020 — they'll be expected to take this team to the next level.