Ryan and I spent a few minutes talking to Tyronn Lue today during one of the crazy media availability events, and he hit us with an interesting nugget about being a member of the All-Star game coaching staff.
Lue is a former NBA role player, one of KG’s best friends, and the Celtics’ Director of Basketball Development, a totally nebulous position that he nonetheless seems to enjoy. He was working the largely ceremonial practice before tomorrow’s All-Star Game, along with seemingly the entire Celtics basketball operations staff. All the guys you’d recognize from the edge of the bench were there: Brian Doo, excitable strength and conditioning coach most famous for this photo. Phil Lynch, director of team security, who you know as the hairless gentleman who escorts the C’s through the tunnels after games. Even the Celtics’ prize-distributing jumbotron hype man, whose name I don’t know but who goes by “Coach,” was working the room.
Seems like a lot of people to fly to Los Angeles for one essentially uncoached game, right? Turns out, according to Lue, that most of them were there because Doc Rivers paid for them to come.
Lue said he wasn’t officially invited with the coaching staff, but he really wanted to go because he wasn’t part of the team the last time Doc coached in 2008. So Doc paid for the whole crew, not just the lead assistants, to come along. Not sure to what extent the money came out of his own pocket, but Lue was definitely appreciative of Doc’s efforts.
He also was totally unafraid to use profanity when he talked to us, which was a summer breeze in an atmosphere of stiff, watered-down interview responses. Thanks, Ty!