LeBron James Says Tyronn Lue Stepping Away Is 'Like Losing One of Your Best Players'

LeBron James says he knew coach Tyronn Lue was struggling with health issues, "but he was never not himself."
Publish date:

LeBron James spoke about Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue stepping away from the team to deal with health issues Monday, and the four-time MVP compared the loss of the coach to that of a star player, according to Rachel Nichols of ESPN.

"It's like losing one of your best players, obviously," James said, according to Nichols. "The guy who's the captain of our ship, who's been running things the past three years."

Lue has been the coach in Cleveland since he took over in the middle of the 2015-16 season, replacing David Blatt. On Monday, the team announced he will take a temporary leave of absence to address his health issues that forced him to remaining the locker room after halftime of Saturday's win against the Bulls.

David Aldridge of TNT reports Lue only plans to miss a week, and then return to the sidelines. Associate head coach Larry Drew will fill in while he is gone.

• The All-NBA Debates: Who Deserves to Make the Cut?

James also told reporters Monday that while Lue was with the team, "he was never not himself" and "he was the same every single day even though he was going through what he was going through."

Cleveland is 40-29 and holding onto third in the East, just a half game ahead of the Wizards and Pacers who are tied for fourth and only 1.5 games ahead of the 76ers in sixth.

The Cavaliers will host the seventh-place Bucks on Monday.