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Report: Kyrie Irving wants Tyronn Lue as next Nets coach

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 2: Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue looks on during the preseason game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on October 2, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Kyrie Irving won a ring with Tyronn Lue as the head coach, the players’ hand-pick choice to take over in Cleveland when David Blatt was pushed out the door.

Kenny Atkinson is now out the door in Brooklyn, and Irving wants to repeat his experience with Lue, reports Vincent Goodwill at Yahoo Sports.

Irving soured on Atkinson early, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and currently prefers Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue to be the team’s next head coach. Lue was the head coach in Cleveland when Irving hit the winning shot in the 2016 NBA Finals and was in talks to take the Lakers job before discussions broke down.

As expected, Irving’s camp denies this is the case.

Lue was one of the names quickly circulating around NBA circles as a possible long-term replacement, along with Mark Jackson and others.

Lue took over in the middle of the 2015-16 season in Cleveland, led the team to a ring, then coached two full seasons after that. The next season, after LeBron James and Irving were gone and the rebuild was starting, the Cavaliers front office decided to go another direction.

There are reasons Lue would be a solid hire. He’s a former player respected by current players. He is a better Xs and Os coach than his critics give him credit for. And, Lue has proven he can coach superstars at the highest level of the game.

For the Nets, that’s the next step.