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Tyronn Lue has dealt with many things this season, including an issue with his own health.
For the second time this season, Lue did not come out of the locker room after halftime for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 113-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at United Center. Associate head coach Larry Drew led the team for the final two quarters of the win.
It marked the third time this season the Cavaliers’ head coach has missed parts of a game because of the same illness, which neither he nor team officials nor players will disclose.
The health of their 40-year-old head coach is a concern and has had an impact on the team, LeBron James said.
“I mean he’s the captain of the ship, so absolutely,” James told reporters after the win in Chicago on Saturday night. “We worry about his health, obviously. That’s way more important than this game of basketball. We know he’s been doing everything he needs to do to stay healthy… (he should) take even more measures to get himself right.
“Everything that’s been going on with our year, it’s just another one.”
Faced with the longest road trip of the season — six games over a 12-day span — and dealing with the plethora of injuries to five players and another (Kyle Korver) who was excused from the team Saturday to tend to a family emergency, James admitted the players were not shocked to not see their head coach on the bench.
“(It) doesn’t catch us off guard because he’s been dealing with it for so long now,” James said. “But anytime he doesn’t come back to the bench, it’s just an alarm going off, obviously.
“Like I said, his health is more important. He’s not going to talk about it, so I don’t want to talk about it no more, either. That’s just how he is and I don’t want to get too much into it.”
Drew, a former head coach himself with the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks, said these types of situations arise from time to time.
“I don’t know if it’s impacting the team. I think particularly at this stage of the season, this is the last day of a (12)-day road trip,” he said. “Certainly, some elements are going to come up.
“As a head (coach), you wear a lot of hats. You have a lot of responsibilities. Sometimes, these things, they come up and are unavoidable and you just have to deal with it but we know as a staff, if he’s not feeling up to par we have to step up and that’s just what we did.