Lue says he intends to coach Cavaliers next season
Despite dealing with health issues and facing the strong likelihood LeBron James won’t be on the roster, Tyronn Lue said he intends to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.
The 41-year-old took a nine-game leave of absence late in the regular season after suffering from chest pains and coughing up blood. He began taking medication to deal with an anxiety disorder and was able to help guide the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, where they were swept in four games by the Golden State Warriors.
“I had some tough problems going on throughout the course of the season, and I probably could have folded myself, but I wasn’t going to do that,” Lue said after Friday’s series-ending loss in Cleveland.
“I knew that even if I wasn’t feeling 100 percent that I had to get back for the playoffs. That’s my time. That’s my moment.
“I didn’t want to put our coaches in that situation. I didn’t want to put our players in that situation, and I have to fight through it. That’s what champions do. I gave everything I had.”
Cleveland has reached the NBA Finals three times since Lue became coach midway through the 2015-16 season, and four straight times overall. But the dynamic could quickly change if James departs as a free agent.
Lue said he has no idea how things will play out.
“I hope he stays,” Lue said. “I mean, we all know that. But after a game like that, I’m not in any position to talk about that. I just appreciate what he’s done for us this season. That’s all I can really speak about.”
James fielded the question on everybody’s mind in the aftermath of the Game 4 blowout loss but wasn’t indicating either way whether the contest was his last with the Cavaliers.
“I mean, I have no idea at this point,” James said. “The one thing that I’ve always done is considered, obviously, my family. Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I’ve got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn’t around as well.
“So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that. So I don’t have an answer for you right now as far as that.”