That’s actually a first for coach Tyronn Lue. As a head coach and as an assistant, he has made the playoffs every year. Except this one.
Still, with Leonard and George expected to be available at the start of training camp, Lue and the Clippers aren’t ashamed of this year and are expecting big things in 2022-23.
“I think it’s been an unbelievable season for our guys, everything we had to go through,” Lue told reporters, via Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. “Like our fans staying loyal, continuing to support throughout the whole season … for the guys in the locker room, like, scrapped, the way we competed all year long. No matter who played, was in the rotation, who was in and out.
“We have to hold our heads high. Some great things to be proud of. Get ready, keep rebuilding and get ready for next year.”
The Clippers finished the regular season as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, but lost both play-in games to be eliminated.
Are you a fan of the NBA Play-In Tournament? (Feel free to explain answer)
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) April 16, 2022
That’s a first for Lue, but again, better days should be ahead.
“I’ve never not been in the playoffs as a coach – as an assistant, as a head,” Lue said. “It’s tough. It’s going to make me stronger. I’ve been through a lot worse. I am disappointed in us not being able to make the playoffs, no matter who was playing.
“It is tough for me. It will be something that’s different, something I never experienced before.”
With Leonard and George back, it’s something that shouldn’t happen again, either. At least., not next season.