Dave Joerger will have to put basketball aside. As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, a journalist from ESPN, the technician was detected a few weeks ago with cancer in the head and neck area, so he will leave his position as an assistant in the Philadelphia 76ers to undergo a treatment with which he can try to cure himself.
Joerger has spent a couple of weeks trying to reconcile his work with such treatment, but the continuous travel required by the NBA calendar makes it impossible. Therefore, after revealing his situation to the rest of the team members after the game this morning against Indiana (the board already knew), he has left his post to focus on something much more important such as his health.
“Dave is not only one of the most talented and most respected coaches in the NBA, but he’s also a great friend, partner, husband and father,” said Doc Rivers. “The same positive energy and the same sacrifice that have made him such a successful coach will help him in this fight against cancer.”
Joerger himself also addressed the media, specifically ESPNHe did so sincerely but optimistically: “We caught it at an early stage, so I was very lucky. The chances of curing it are high, but it is really intimidating and it is not a process that is going to be pleasant. I can’t be traveling and undergoing chemotherapy in different cities. To continue my treatment, I need to get away from the team.
“When I look in the mirror every morning I can’t help but think that the lump is there. I was in Toronto when the message came to me saying we had to talk and to do it as soon as possible. It is one of those days that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Now, all that remains is to wish Joerger all the best in this process. Hopefully, we can see him back on an NBA bench with his illness overcome and re-dedicating himself to the sport he loves.
(Cover photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)