Fred Hoiberg has a couch in his Advocate Center office on which he occasionally will try to snag a 20-minute nap.
The pursuit is a nod to the stresses and demands that engulf NBA head coaches, a fact underscored Monday when Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue became the second coach this season to take a leave of absence.
Hoiberg said he didn’t get a chance to talk to Lue late Saturday after he fell ill and ceded to associate head coach Larry Drew for the second half of the Cavaliers’ victory over the Bulls. But Hoiberg understands what Lue is experiencing.
“As someone who has dealt with health issues, it’s tough,” Hoiberg said, alluding to his two open heart surgeries. “There’s so much pressure in this position. It’s a daily battle. You have to do the best job you can of taking care of yourself.
“I’m happy he’s taking the time and hopefully getting healthy for the stretch run. He’s a great person. He has done a helluva job with that team. Hopefully, everything turns out well and he gets back on the bench soon.”
Both Hoiberg and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek talked about the demands of consuming film, particularly in the advanced technological age where clips are distilled and loaded on laptops right when the game ends. As a player, Hoiberg joked he would be playing cards on the charter flight home.
“I start my film session on the bus on the way to the airport,” Hoiberg said. “Then you get on the plane and watch it again. And then you get home and a lot of times you watch it a third time. And then you start preparing for your opponent. There are a lot of sleepless nights. You get up early, start preparing, try to catch your kids before they go to school and then you head into the office.”
Earlier this season, Hornets coach Steve Clifford took an extended leave after being unable to shake debilitating headaches.
“It’s a stressful job,” Hornacek said before his Knicks faced the Bulls. “It’s hard because all the coaches work extremely long hours. There’s always another game to watch, always another film to watch. As coaches, you want to be as best prepared as (possible). And sometimes you fail to realize what your health is doing with lack of sleep. Hope (Lue) gets better and gets back for the playoffs.”
Forgotten face: The Knicks officially list Joakim Noah’s absence as “personal reasons.” But the former Defensive Player of the Year when he served as the heart and soul of the Bulls has been in exile since a late January altercation with Hornacek.
“That’s stuff we went through as a team. The team now is heading in a different direction,” Hornacek said. “Things happen.”
Hornacek, who was predictably terse on the subject, said he thinks the situation will resolve itself this offseason. That would mean a trade or buyout because Noah has two years remaining on his deal.