Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said on Thursday he blundered in revealing to ESPN the details of his mysterious health problems – that he had been receiving treatment for anxiety. Lue took a medical leave of absence in March, after being forced to leave the bench on several occasions during the season.
The Cavs coach told ESPN he had been suffering from chest pains and had coughed up blood before receiving treatment and making changes to his diet.
“I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious,” Lue told ESPN ahead of Cleveland’s opening game one of the NBA Finals against Golden State here Thursday. “Just anxiety, and the medication I’m on is great. No more chest pains, so everything’s been great.”
But in a pre-game media session before the opener, Lue confessed he had not intended to say so much about his health issues. “To be honest, I messed up,” Lue said. “I didn’t even really know I said it. It just kind of came out during the interview.”
Lue revealed in the pre-game comments that the NBA playoffs are one of his “happy places.”
“The biggest thing is that I feel great,” Lue said. “And talking to my doctor, one of my happy places is the playoffs. So that’s a good thing. I do feel great though.”
Lue said changes to lifestyle and medication had helped treat his stress. “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 said.
“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 said he had received support from around the NBA since his ESPN revelations. “A lot of people are going through a lot of different things,” Lue said. “Just being able to cope with it and understand there are a lot of different people who have reached out to me and told me they experienced some of the same things.”
Lue said he had received support from across the league, including from Golden State counterpart Steve Kerr, who battled his own health issues last year, missing part of his team’s greatest-ever 16-1 playoff run after complications from back surgery.
“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.”
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