- Ezra Shaw/Getty
- Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue is stepping away from the team for the time being to focus on his health.
- Lue’s exact health issues are unknown, but he says he has had chest pains and difficulty sleeping.
- Long-time NBA coach and current Cavaliers assistant Larry Drew will take over the team while Lue is away.
Another wrench was thrown into what has already been a tumultuous season for the Cleveland Cavaliers as head coach Tyronn Lue is stepping back from the team due to health issues, the team announced today.
“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,” Lue said in the statement.
“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 ssid he intends to use his time away from the team to begin a “prescribed routine and medication,” and hopes to return to the Cavaliers. However, no timetable was given for when that return might be.
Obviously, Lue is making the right call to focus on his health, but there’s no denying that from an on-the-court perspective this is yet more turmoil during a Cleveland Cavaliers season that has been marked by underperformance and drama, including a massive roster overhaul right at the trade deadline.
In Lue’s absence, associate head coach Larry Drew will be taking over head coaching duties for the Cavaliers, per ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin. A longtime assistant in the league, Drew has also had head coaching stints with the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. His overall record as a head coach is 143-169.
Currently, Cleveland sits in third place in the Eastern Conference but is only a half-game ahead of Washington in the fourth-place spot.
Lue took over the Cavaliers during the middle of the 2015-16 season and helped turn the team around and lead it a dramatic victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals that year to claim the franchise’s first title.