The NBA was hit with some surprising, and concerning news today. Ty Lue, the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is indefinitely leaving the team to focus on a health issue.
The Cavs announce that Tyronn Lue is stepping away from coaching the team for the time being. Associate head coach Larry Drew will take over. More to come.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 19, 2018
Ty Lue has been considering this option of stepping away for several weeks, but resisted until now, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/X0cKojiJmw— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 19, 2018
This has been a long time coming, with Lue exiting games on multiple occasions this season. But only now are details emerging as to the severity of the issues that Lue has be dealing with.
In a statement, Lue said that, “After many conversations with our doctors and [Cavs’ general manager] Koby [Altman] and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.”
He also noted that he has been having ongoing chest pains throughout the season.
Key statement from Ty Lue: "I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year." Team source told ESPN, for instance, that when CLE returned from its road trip, Lue did not fall asleep until 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 19, 2018
An ESPN report noted that Lue has also been coughing up blood. And while the team doesn’t know what’s going on, the hope is that the time off will not only provide rest, but an opportunity to implement aspects of a different lifestyle, as well as more medical attention.
The team is certainly hoping that Lue can return this season. While many (including yours truly) have had their critiques about Lue’s coaching abilities, he’s clearly been an integral part of a Cavs team that has made the NBA Finals in both of his years at the helm, and put a Larry O’Brien trophy on their mantle.
Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr, who has missed plenty of time due to his own health issues, talked at Monday’s shootaround about the situation. He stated that “health is everything”, and noted that he’s been in contact with Lue about what’s going on.
Steve Kerr, who missed a chunk of the playoffs last season for health reasons, on Ty Lue's current leave of absence pic.twitter.com/PQ1fVQxn1z— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 19, 2018
Health issues are always scary, and never a joking matter. Regardless of your opinions about the Cavs, this is a very unfortunate situation to see unfold, and hopefully Lue is back on the sidelines, in good health, very soon.