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Luke Walton: Coaching in the NBA is ‘not ideal for staying healthy’

When Lakers coach Luke Walton heard Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was stepping away from the job to focus on his health, he could relate.

"It's a stressful job," Walton said Monday. "… You don't get a lot of sleep, you travel a lot and you're stressed all day long. It's important that coaches take time to also take care of themselves as far as health ... whether that's workouts, meditate, whatever it is … because the life of travel and everything else that goes into coaching is probably not ideal for staying healthy.

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"I'm not sure what it is with Ty, but my thoughts and prayers are with him that he gets better and gets back to coaching because I know he loves coaching."

In a statement, Lue said he had been having chest pains and other symptoms, including trouble sleeping. He said testing to find the cause was inconclusive. Lue said his treatment regimen would have been difficult to undergo while coaching.

Walton's problems are more chronic than acute.

A member of his staff is responsible for helping Walton stay on track. He said he tries to work out on game days and sits in the cold tub after players are finished with it. He said he meditates regularly with the help of apps.

He's had trouble sleeping in the past, and back problems have plagued Walton — they contributed to the end of his NBA career. So an eye toward his health is about more than coaching for him.

"One thing I know is if my back goes out, I'm not going to be able to coach because I know what that's like," Walton said.

"You can't focus on anything. So a lot of my reasoning for starting to take care of my health, taking it more serious, was to take care of my back so I can live a normal life."

Oladipo sets his sights higher

Victor Oladipo was on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Miami last summer when he heard he and teammate Domantas Sabonis were traded to Indiana for Paul George. He didn't hear it from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that traded him. He found out on social media.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti called him the next day, Oladipo said.

"It was a surprise for me, a surprise in general, but it happens," Oladipo said. "So I was already working hard in the summertime, but obviously that made me turn it up even more. I gotta continue to keep turning it up because we've got a lot of goals, not just for myself but for this team."

Behind Oladipo, the Pacers have turned into one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Monday night, Oladipo's play helped carry his team past the Lakers. With more responsibility than he had in Oklahoma City or Orlando, the team that drafted him second overall in 2013, Oladipo has thrived.

"Probably," Oladipo said when asked whether Indiana offered a better fit. "Obviously I just think it's different. The roles here are different. I'm asked to do a lot more here than I had to in Oklahoma and in Orlando as well. It's been beneficial for me. There's still things I need to work on."

It's not the path he thought he would take upon entering the NBA. After all, Oladipo was the second pick in the draft, a position that should come with more stability that he's had, especially for a player who's shown so much promise.

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"Everyone's path is different," Oladipo said. "I've learned that over the years. Everyone doesn't have to get to where they want to be at the same time."

Etc.

The Lakers did not re-sign Derrick Williams after his 10-day contract expired. … Gary Payton II did not play Monday, the final day he was allowed to play with the Lakers while on a two-way contract. Payton will return to the South Bay Lakers for the rest of the season, joining Alex Caruso, who is also on a two-way contract.

Twitter: @taniaganguli

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