Cavs coach Tyronn Lue reveals he is being treated for anxiety
Near the end of the regular season, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue took an excused absence from the team to deal with a few health issues, including lack of sleep and chest pains. Now, two months after taking his leave, the leader of the Cavs revealed that he is receiving treatment for anxiety.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, coach Lue was also coughing up blood at times. There were a few games in which he was unable to coach in the second half. Medication and a change in diet have since eased some of Lue’s health concerns.
Cavs head assistant coach Larry Drew took the reigns in Lue’s stead, recording an 8-1 record (9-1 overall this season with Drew at the helm).
“I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious,” Lue told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “Just anxiety, and the medication I’m on is great. No more chest pains, so everything’s been great.”
Lue went through a myriad of tests before ultimately stepping down. After the evaluations were over, it was determined that his symptoms were partially caused by anxiety.
“I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious,” Lue told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an exclusive interview. “Just anxiety, and the medication I’m on is great. No more chest pains, so everything’s been great.”
“I think for the first time in my career, 20 years, I had a chance to focus on me. It wasn’t as bad as people thought it was. But I did have some chest pains for the last couple of years. And I was just trying to be able to get through it not knowing what was wrong with me,” Lue told Nichols.
“So the two weeks I took off, just finally had a chance to focus on myself and change my diet. Hired a chef. Stopped drinking as many Shirley Temples. And stopped with the sweets and got back to taking care of myself. Now I feel great.”
Lue was not alone in his battle. In fact, he says he received support from several members of the NBA family, including his players, coaching staff and management. Even Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reached out to Lue in support. Coach Kerr knows a thing or two about stepping away for a time, as he has dealt with complications from back surgery over the past two years.
“When you’re in this position, you’re in the NBA, and you have your family and your friends and everybody you want to take care of and make sure they’re comfortable, you kind of lose sight of yourself and what it takes for you,” Lue said. “So being able to do that and get sleep now regularly is great.”
Lue, a former player, also noted that he didn’t want to bow out early.
“I think when you’re going through a tough season, tough stretch, it’s easy to say you’re going to bow out. And I didn’t want to be that guy. It was tough,” Lue told Nichols. “LeBron [James] playing all 82 games, I wanted to be able to coach all the 82 games and give the team everything they needed.”
Coaching a team led by LeBron James comes with a unique set of challenges, to be sure. However, it also comes with moments of shared elation. In the end, Lue says the smiles on his players’ faces is what matters most.
“I don’t like the attention. But I love coaching. I love when you’re able to succeed and seeing the look on guys’ faces,” Tyronn Lue said in closing. “A lot have not been to the Finals, the George Hills and Jeff Greens, and all those guys having a chance to go to the NBA Finals and play for the championship, that’s when it’s worth it. And it feels good, and all the guys feel good, so I’m happy that we’re here now.”