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Clippers hire Ty Lue as head coach

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Chauncey Billups will be his assistant.

2018 NBA Finals - Game One Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers have found their new head coach, and it’s a name familiar to Golden State Warriors fans: Ty Lue. After mutually parting ways with Doc Rivers, the Clippers hired one of his assistants in Lue, and are adding former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups as Lue’s lead assistant.

Former NBA coach Larry Drew will also reportedly join Lue’s staff. Lue’s deal is for five years.

It’s a move that has a lot of ties to the Warriors. The Clippers reloaded last offseason by adding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and are unquestionably championship contenders, despite their disappointing 2020 postseason. They’re a team that the Warriors will likely have to go through if Golden State wants to return to the top of the mountain.

And if they do have to go through the Clippers ... well, the Warriors have a lot of experience facing Lue in the playoffs. Lue took over as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers halfway through the 2015-16 season, and led LeBron James and the Cavs to an NBA Finals victory over the Warriors. He then led Cleveland back to the Finals in 2017 and 2018, only to fall to Golden State both times.

Lue’s hiring also means the Warriors will likely get to retain lead assistant coach Mike Brown. Brown had interviewed with the Clippers, but seems to only be open to a few positions. So while there are other openings in the league, it’s a safe bet that he’ll be sitting next to Steve Kerr next year.