LeBron James' coach stepping away indefinitely


Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, 40, is stepping away from the team and his duties to address several lingering health issues.

“After many conversations with our doctors and [Cavaliers 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,” Lue said in a statement.

Most recently, Lue left the Cavaliers’ 114-109 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday early.

He cited an undisclosed illness as the reason for leaving the game early. It was the third time this season that Lue was unable to finish coaching an entire game.

“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 said about his illness. It was the most detail he’s offered about his illness to date.

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“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,” he said.

Cleveland won four games in a row headed into the All-Star break in February.

The up-and-down Cavaliers seemed to be rejuvenated by a medley of trades that made the team younger and more athletic and gave them some much-needed scoring punch.

Since All-Star weekend, however, the team has played sub-.500 ball, going an uneven 6-7 in its last 13 games.

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A big part of the Cavs’ recent woes is the loss of rebounding specialist Tristan Thompson, which thinned out a front line already desperately missing Kevin Love and his shooting.

Losing their head coach is not going to help.

Lue did make a point to say that he expects to return this season and thanked those around him for supporting him.

“I greatly appreciate [Cavaliers team owner] Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization’s support throughout,” Lue said.

Altman also voiced his support in the team statement.

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“We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues,” he said.

Lue will be replaced in the interim by assistant coach Larry Drew.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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