Tyronn Lue Says He's Been Treated for Anxiety and Has 'No More Chest Pains'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue answers questions before the start of an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. The Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said his midseason leave of absence was caused by anxiety, and he has felt better since being placed on a new medication and changing his diet.

"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, 41, took a leave of absence on March 19 to deal with ongoing chest pains that had plagued him throughout the regular season. He returned to the Cavs with four games remaining in the regular season and has been on the bench throughout their playoff run.

"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."

The NBA has increasingly shined a spotlight on mental health, announcing a new wellness initiative last week. Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Cavs forward Kevin Love have been at the forefront of the push, speaking openly about their own mental health issues this year.

After playing 13 NBA seasons, Lue immediately jumped into a front office role with the Boston Celtics in 2009. He said the time away helped him refocus himself and get himself mentally and physically prepared for the Cavs' run to their fourth straight NBA Finals.