Tyronn Lue and the Cleveland Cavaliers announced Monday that the former Nebraska star was stepping away from coaching “for the time being” because of health problems that Lue said he has experienced throughout the year.
Despite a battery of tests, Lue said in a statement, “there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.”
Cavs General Manager Koby Altman said: “We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues.”
Cleveland came out of the weekend with a 40-29 record, currently sitting third in the Eastern Conference. Lue stayed in the locker room for the second half of a 114-109 win at Chicago on Saturday, with assistant coach Larry Drew handling his duties for the remainder of the game.
Lue took over the Cavaliers midway through the 2015-16 season and led them to the NBA championship. Cleveland was 51-31 a year ago and lost in the NBA Finals.
Lue’s full statement:
“After many conversations with our doctors and Koby 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.
I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.
While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.
I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization’s support throughout.”
Saturday marked the third time this season Lue was unable to see the end of a game. Asked if Lue’s health has affected the team this season, Cavs star LeBron James said in a Yahoo.com story: “He’s the captain of the ship, so absolutely.
“We worry about his health, obviously,” James said. “That’s way more important than this game of basketball.
“We know he’s been doing everything he needs to do to stay healthy, take even more measures to get himself right. Everything that’s been going on with our year, it’s just another one.”
Lue played three seasons at Nebraska, averaging 21.2 points and 4.8 assists as a junior in 1997-98. After being a first-round draft pick, Lue played 11 NBA seasons with seven teams.
Lue last winter had his No. 10 retired by NU, making him one of only four former Huskers with their jersey hanging from the rafters in Pinnacle Bank Arena.