Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers — as one or two may remember — gained a lot of his head coaching notoriety at the helm of the Boston Celtics, where he was the hoarse voice of authority that oversaw the Big Three era.
Coaching the Celtics, Rivers noticed a lot of potential in a specific player off the court, rather than on it. In fact, that player’s potential on the court was dwindling quickly.
That player? Current Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue.
“I literally coached (Lue) for 10 games in Orlando. And I told him, ‘Call me literally the day after you’re cut from the NBA, and that won’t be long from now,'” Rivers said in the Undefeated.
Rivers said he told Lue he would be cut soon because he was older, but in either case, Lue reached out to Rivers when the latter had joined Boston. The only problem: The Celtics didn’t have a coaching vacancy on their bench.
“I walked into Danny’s office and told him we were hiring Ty Lue,” Rivers told the Undefeated. “He said, ‘Where?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. We are just going to make room for him because he had whatever “It” is.’ You could just see it.”
The Celtics did hire Lue, and he departed to the Clippers with Stevens in 2013 before heading back east to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lue hit the talent lottery when LeBron James joined him, and he won a title as a head coach in 2016.
“That stuff from a coaching standpoint is really, really cool,” Rivers told the Undefeated. “Ty is a great coach with or without me.”