Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue says he is stepping away from the team for the time being due to ongoing health issues.
Lue said Monday in statement that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is, but he feels he needs to step away "and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation" from which to coach the rest of the season.
While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team.
Associate head coach Larry Drew coached the second half of Saturday's game, the finale of a six-game, 11-day road trip.
Lue, who missed the second half of Saturday's game because he felt ill, has been dealing with chest pains and other symptoms.
"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're all working towards". Exacerbating matters is the fact that franchise cornerstone LeBron James is a free agent this summer, and Cleveland's ability to win a second National Basketball Association title in June could ultimately determine whether or not the Akron, Ohio native decides to stay or go.
LeBron James admitted after that game that the team was anxious about its coach. He was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2010-2013, going to the playoffs in all three seasons with the team but never winning a playoff series.
Drew, 59, joined the Cavaliers as an assistant in 2014.
"Um, I think it's probably well overdue", James told media on Monday, via Cleveland.com Cavs.
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. The first was early on, but he did not want to give off the impression that he was taking time off because the team was losing so many games.
The Cavaliers have 13 games remaining the season and are in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 40-29 record.
'Everything that's been going on with our year, it's just another one'.