Lakers ‘know they screwed up’ by not hiring Tyronn Lue in 2019

The 2018-19 season, which was LeBron James’ first with the Los Angeles Lakers, was considered an unmitigated disaster for the team. Despite possessing a solid roster, the Lakers missed the playoffs, and starting in January of that year, there were lots of rumors that they were looking to trade for an additional star, perhaps at James’ behest.

They fired their head coach just after the end of their season, and they went into the offseason wanting to hire Tyronn Lue, a former Lakers player who had coached James’ Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA championship in 2016. All in all, it looked like they were very far from winning it all.

It sounds similar to the situation the Purple and Gold are in now.

Lue is very unlikely to become available, as the Los Angeles Clippers, the team he currently coaches, want to sign him to an extension. According to someone close to the Lakers organization, it knows it “screwed up” by not doing what was needed to hire Lue five years ago.

Via Lakers Daily:

“If Lue was available, it’d be done already,” said a source close to the Lakers. “They know they screwed that up a few years ago and would like to remedy that mistake. Problem is, the Clippers know the Lakers want Lue. So, on top of him being a good coach, [Steve] Ballmer doesn’t want to help the Lakers get better.”

The Lakers seemed to have a strong desire to hire Lue in 2019. But reportedly, talks broke down because they only offered him a three-year contract, and he wanted a longer one.

Lue may not be the second coming of Phil Jackson, who coached him during his short stint as a Lakers player in the early 2000s. But he is a proven championship-caliber coach who has the trust and respect of James, as well as the ability to stand up to the superstar.

As a result of the Lakers’ apparent penny-pinching, they’re now looking for what will be their third head coach in just six seasons.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire