Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue revealed to ESPN that he’s been getting treated for anxiety since taking a leave of absence from the team earlier this season.
Lue, 41, missed nine games after “piercing” chest pains kept him in the locker room for the start of the third quarter of a game against the Chicago Bulls on March 17. He changed his medications and diet in the wake of the health scare and has had no reported issues since.
“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.”
Tests performed in March revealed anxiety was playing a part in Lue’s symptoms, according to ESPN. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman told him he needed to take time to address his health, which Lue did with the support of star player LeBron James and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, among others.
“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.
“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 continued. “LeBron playing all 82 games, I wanted to be able to coach all the 82 games and give the team everything they needed.”
Lue’s Cavaliers are back in the NBA Finals for a fourth straight season, opposite Kerr’s Warriors. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series tips off Thursday night in Oakland, Calif.
—Field Level Media