Tyronn Lue’s coaching staff now is fully, officially staffed, reuniting past teammates and bringing back a former Clipper.
In place are Brian Shaw and Jay Larranaga, who will be joining the Clippers as assistant coaches next season, as Wesley Johnson and Cookie Belcher will take on player development roles. Shaun Fein also was promoted to assistant coach from his prior position as a player development coach, according to a news release from the team.
Shaw is a three-time NBA champion as a member of the Lakers, a former teammate of Lue’s and has close to 30 years of experience as an NBA player and coach, including as a head coaching stint with the Denver Nuggets from 2013 to 2015.
Last season, Shaw also was the head coach of the G League’s Ignite team, a mixture of elite high school graduates and veterans on a roster unaffiliated with any existing G League franchise or NBA team. He’s also been an associate head coach with the Lakers from 2016 to 2019 and the Indiana Pacers from 2011-2013, when Paul George was an up-and-coming star there.
Larranaga spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, helping the team to three Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, 2018 and 2020, in addition to having served as the head coach of the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, and before that, as an assistant coach at Cornell University and as the head coach of the Irish national team for two years.
Johnson returns to the Clippers organization for whom he played from 2015 through 2018. His NBA career also included stops with the Lakers as well as Minnesota, Phoenix, New Orleans, Washington. In 2019-20, he played in the Greek Basket League with Panathinaikos, winning the Greek League championship before joining the Toronto Raptors’ coaching staff NBA Summer League this year.
Belcher – who, like Lue, grew up in Mexico, Missouri – worked the past eight seasons as a coach at IMG Academy. He also spent a decade abroad playing professionally in Italy, Israel and Greece, and before that, Belcher followed Lue to Nebraska, where they played together for a couple of seasons and Belcher set a Cornhuskers and Big 12 Conference records with 353 steals in a college career that spanned from 1996-2001.
The Clippers had some holes to fill: Chauncey Billups, Kenny Atkinson and Roy Rogers all left for other jobs after spending last season as assistants for the team that reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
Billups took over as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, where he’ll be joined by Rogers. Atkinson –complimented often by Lue last season for his contributions to player development– left for an assistant position with the Golden State Warriors.
Dan Craig, Larry Drew, Jeremy Castleberry and Brendan O’Connor remain in place for Lue’s second season leading the Clippers.
Ty Lue needs to hire Cookie Belcher… that dude played left handed for 5 games cause his right was broke. Tough hombre, Mexico Missouri duo… put him on staff @HuskerHoops
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) October 15, 2020
Meet the new/ish Clippers coaches, per the team: pic.twitter.com/WT6zJuxlIX
— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) September 24, 2021
Coming soon, #ClipperNation.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) September 20, 2021