RUMOR: Lakers’ Tyronn Lue was favored over Monty Williams, but not unanimous favorite because of LeBron James
The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly did not consider Tyronn Lue a unanimous favorite for the job over Monty Williams due to one factor in particular.
Lue is likely set to join the Lakers, while Williams was named the new coach of the Phoenix Suns.
But it appears that Lue wasn’t the overwhelming favorite to earn the Los Angeles job because of the control aspect involving LeBron James.
Lue was not the unanimous favorite to replace Walton among the Lakers’ many decision-makers in the wake of Magic Johnson’s abrupt April 9 resignation. He was indeed favored over Williams, but there were some nagging fears among a minority of the team’s power brokers — as mentioned here previously — that hiring LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers coach would be giving James too much control in Lakerland.
Stein also discussed the Lakers’ lengthy coaching search and why Williams taking over in Phoenix played a factor in Lue potentially being the hire in Los Angeles.
Lue’s supporters within the organization ultimately deduced that there was only one way Lue could rise to the level of unanimous choice to succeed Walton — by waiting until Williams was no longer available.
Hence the relatively slow pace, spanning a full month, of the Lakers’ search for Walton’s successor.
It was certainly a fascinating coaching search, and Los Angeles hopes that Lue is the man to help the franchise become an NBA title contender once again.