The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be inching closer toward hiring Tyronn Lue as their next head coach. Part of Lue’s weekend birthday celebration certainly adds credence to that hire coming to fruition.
According to TMZ, Lue was presented with a Lakers-themed birthday cake at a private party attended by close friends and family. The cake had a huge Lakers logo and the message, “Happy Birthday, Coach.” Lue turned 42 on Friday.
Of course, that doesn’t confirm that Lue is the Lakers’ choice, but it doesn’t exactly dissuade from that notion, does it?
The celebration reportedly took place in Las Vegas, where Lue has been living. Per the Los Angeles Times, Lue was expected to attend the Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs boxing match in Vegas on Saturday night. Lakers star LeBron James was also expected to attend the fight.
The LA Times and ESPN reported on Friday that the two sides were advancing toward an agreement but that no deal had been completed. Lue became the top target after Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams agreed to become the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
Lue played for the Lakers from 1998-2001 as a backup point guard. After his playing career ended in 2009, Lue entered the coaching world. After first serving as an assistant, Lue was promoted to head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in January 2016. He coached the Cavs, led by James, to an NBA title that season. Lue, who was fired by Cleveland just six games into the 2018 season, has a strong relationship with James.
Once the coach is in place, the Lakers will shift their focus toward acquiring another star to pair with James. James’ first season in L.A. did not go all that well. James missed a big chunk of the season with a groin injury and the team went 37-45, missing the playoffs. It was the first time James missed the playoffs since 2005.
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