Tyronn Lue and others are set to start their first season on Clippers’ coaching staff
When the Clippers gather Sunday for the start of a season bearing championship expectations, stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will not be the team’s only notable offseason additions in attendance.
As confirmed by The Times in August, Tyronn Lue, a former Clippers assistant under coach Doc Rivers who later coached Cleveland to the 2016 NBA championship, is back as an assistant. Lue has familiarity with the Clippers roster after holding an informal advisory role to Rivers last season following his firing in Cleveland.
Also joining Rivers’ staff is Jeremy Castleberry, a close friend of Leonard and former assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors, who will hold both player development and assistant coaching duties. Castleberry played alongside Leonard in high school in Riverside and also at San Diego State, where Castleberry was a walk-on guard. Castleberry broke into the NBA with San Antonio’s G League affiliate before working in the Spurs’ video room at the same time Leonard was becoming the team’s star NBA forward. Castleberry was an assistant with Toronto during last season’s NBA championship run, which starred Leonard.
While Steve Ballmer and Jerry West were part of the Clippers’ year-long strategy to land Kawhi Leonard, Doc Rivers says one ‘hero’ played a decisive role.
Leonard is also expected to work closely with Todd Wright, the team’s new assistant coach and vice president of player performance. Wright spent the previous four seasons directing the Philadelphia 76ers’ strength and conditioning program. Former Orlando Magic physical therapist Maggie Bryant also has joined the training room as the Clippers’ director of rehabilitation, a key role considering George’s continuing rehab following offseason surgery on both shoulders.
Former Lakers executive Ryan West will also help the Clippers this season. Though not a full-fledged addition to the front office, West has been contracted by the team to scout prospects at the NBA and college levels, said a person with knowledge of the role.
West left the Lakers in July after spending a decade with the franchise, most recently as its director of player personnel. He previously worked eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies as a scout.
West’s father, Jerry, a Hall of Fame player and distinguished executive who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month, has worked as a consultant to the Clippers’ front office since 2017.
Noah workout off
Veteran center Joakim Noah is no longer expected to work out for the Clippers and the team is all but certain to enter training camp Monday with its final roster spot open, a person with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Noah, a three-time NBA all-defense honoree and one-time defensive player of the year, was initially scheduled to audition with the Clippers this week.
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