Nick Wilson: Six simple rules for coaching LeBron James

Ty Lue to meet with Luke Walton and discuss coaching LeBron

Nick Wilson
July 08, 2018 - 3:34 pm
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue calls a play during a timeout in the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) - LeBron James may be done helping Cleveland, but Cleveland doesn’t appear to be done helping LeBron James.

Head Coach Tyronn Lue told the media at the NBA’s Summer League that he will meet with Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton about the best way to coach LeBron.

As we know in Cleveland, LeBron is an enigma rapped in a riddle cloaked in a billion dollars’ worth of endorsements.

While no agenda for that meeting of once and future coaches of the King, here’s a stab at what Ty Lue will divulge to his royal predecessor .

Let LeBron Assert His Dominance - This will fly contrary to Walton’s previous coaching experiences. He’s spent the last half decade working with beta male’s like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Lonzo Ball where YOU want to show dominance to earn THEIR submission. (Even if you don’t show dominance, Steph and Klay will probably just submit to you anyway. See: Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.)

The opposite is true of LeBron. You’ll want to let him insult you in front of the media, completely ignore you in front of the team at practice or call you by the wrong name in front of your family members. Once he asserts his dominance, allow him to maintain it while undermining you along the way.

Offense Schmoffense - The concept of a set offense will be offensive to The King. You’ll still want to teach the team an offense during camp to keep up appearances but when meaningful competition comes, its best to pantomime communication with LeBron on the court so the rest of the team things your calling for whatever he decides to run. If you do attempt to a call a play, he’ll just disregard it anyway and do what he wants. 

No Admitting Weakness - While you are relegated to be a sub in this relationship, no one likes a stupid or foolish sub. When speaking to the media or the team, whatever happened in a game was exactly what you planned. If Lonzo Ball declines to enter the game in a blowout playoff game, it was a challenge AND HE SUCCEEDED. If Lance Stephenson dribbles out the ball in a regulation in a tie game during game one of the NBA Final, YOU WANTED OVER TIME. If you got blown out by 30 points, YOU ARE LETTING THEM FAIL FOR THE SAKE OF MOTIVATION.

Develop A LeBron Decoder - Sometimes LeBron says exactly what he means. Other times LeBron says exactly what he doesn’t mean. It’s implied. You’ll never know which way it is….or isn’t. It’s LA though, I’m sure you can afford Robert Langdon to develop a decipher for LeBron. That cat hasn’t done much lately anyway.

When Thing Go Wrong, You Go Blank - LeBron can’t blame you if he thinks you weren’t paying attention in the first place should a game goes to Hell in a hand basket. You’ll want to develop a look. This look will be equal parts confused, dazed and utterly lost. If you need a reference point, just google “Tyronn Lue.” Works every time.

When All Else Fails, Say Nothing - Do Nothing- LeBron is the head coach anyway. No one wants to hear from the patsy. See: Lee Harvey Oswald.

If Walton follows these directions, he’s sure to have the same success as any other head coach that has worked for LeBron. A few consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, maybe a title or two and absolutely no acclaim for any of those accomplishments. Who wouldn’t love that?

Remember, it’s good to be the king. (And you aren’t the King.)