The Cleveland Cavaliers announced earlier today that head coach Tyronn Lue is stepping away from the team "for the time being." In a statement on the team's website, Lue indicated he had been experiencing health problems all year and wants to take time to get healthy.
"After many conversations with our doctors and Koby [Altman, the Cavaliers general manager] 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."
Lue missed the second half of Saturday's game against the Chicago Bulls with an undisclosed illness and according to ESPN's c, did not fall asleep until 9:30 AM on Sunday morning. Lue also had to leave early from a February 6 game against the Orlando Magic and missed another game against the Bulls in December, both due to an undisclosed illness.
Following Saturday's game, LeBron James was asked if the illness was distracting the team and hinted that a more drastic approach might better serve Lue and the Cavs:
"I mean he's the captain of the ship, so absolutely," James said. "We worry about his health, obviously. That's way more important than this game of basketball. We know he's been doing everything he needs to do to stay healthy -- (maybe he should) take even more measures to get himself right."Lue said he had been prescribed medication and a better routine before the season began, but it has been difficult to keep on top of it during the season. So he's stepping away in the hopes of coming back in time to lead the Cavs on a run to an NBA Finals win. Until he does return, associate head coach Larry Drew will assume head coaching duties.