Tyronn Lue responds to Daryl Morey: ‘Last time he tweeted, he cost the NBA a billion dollars. So, I don’t think he should be doing too much tweeting.’

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue
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Daryl Morey tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters, who were trying to maintain and expand their freedoms.

The current Clippers coach responded differently than the last Clippers coach did.

The latest clash for Morey, who’s now 76ers president, started with Clippers coach Tyronn Lue over basketball before touching on geopolitics. Before Philadelphia’s win over L.A. on Friday, Lue discussed 76ers stars Joel Embiid (who ranks No. 1 in free throws attempted and made per game) and James Harden (who ranks No. 3 in both categories):

Lue:

Embiid is number one in the league from the free-throw line, and James is number three. So, I think it said, if you take away their free throws, neither of those guys would be in the top 10 in scoring. So, that just tells you how much they’re getting to the free-throw line. So, we’ve just got to do a god job pulling our hands back, making sure we’re playing, not letting them get into the bonus and doing their sweep-throughs. And they’re going to get some calls because of who they are, but we’ve just to make sure we’re doing our part.

Morey responded on Twitter:

Then Lue went back at Morey. Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints:

Lue:

They took it out of context. It was said meaning, if you continue to foul those guys, they can score 50. We want to make them score field goals, not free throws, because they’re crafty at getting to the line. But it don’t bug me.

In response to Daryl Morey, should he really be tweeting anything right now? Last time he tweeted, he cost the NBA a billion dollars. So, I don’t think he should be doing too much tweeting. Just worry about his own team.

I don’t know what Lue originally meant, but his wording was pretty silly. Everyone in the top 10 of scoring would fall from the top 10 if only their free throws were removed. Harden ranks just 25th in scoring, free throws included, anyway. (Embiid ranks second to LeBron James.)

Likewise, every team would also rank last in offense if only its free throws weren’t counted. I suspect Morey knows that. That’s his point. Drawing fouls is an essential part of the game. It can signify dominance.

But Embiid and especially Harden are also skilled at tricks for drawing fouls. Not simply trying to score then drawing fouls in the process. Trying to draw fouls for the sake of drawing fouls. Some of Embiid’s and especially Harden’s methods can be underhanded. So, it’s certainly possible Lue was griping in his original comments.

Of course, Lue – who interviewed with the Rockets while Morey was on his way out of Houston – definitely wouldn’t mind Harden’s moves if coaching the star guard.

Another point of order: NBA commissioner Adam Silver pegged the cost of Morey’s tweet in China at $400 million – not the $1 billion Lue said. Lue probably thought this was just a zippy one-liner, anyway. There is room to criticize how Morey handled the situation. But taking a shot at Morey because he supported people standing up for their freedoms simply because it cost the NBA is a pretty narrow viewpoint.