Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Dave Joerger is taking a leave of absence to undergo treatment for a form of head and neck cancer.
Joerger, 47, has undergone treatments while coaching over the past two weeks, however he will remain in Philadelphia while the 76ers compete during their six-game road trip.
Per ESPN, Joerger informed the team’s players, assistant coaches and staff of his status following the 76ers’ 118-113 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
“Dave is not only one of the most talented and respected coaches in the NBA, but he’s a great friend, colleague, husband and father,” coach Doc Rivers said in a statement from the organization. “The same positivity, enthusiasm and grit that have made him a successful coach will also carry him through his fight against cancer.
“I know I speak for everyone at the 76ers when I say, ‘Get well soon, we love you and we’ll be with you throughout this entire process. Your battle is our battle.'”
Joerger, who says he has Stage 1 cancer, described his prognosis to ESPN.
“We have caught it early,” Joerger told the network. “I’m very lucky. I’ve got over a 90 percent chance of cure rate, but it’s very scary and it’s not enjoyable going through. … I can’t go on the road and do radiation and chemotherapy in different cities around the country. To continue my treatment, I need to step away from the team.”
Joerger told ESPN that he noticed a lump in his throat over a year ago and informed his physician. The initial scan returned negative, however he monitored the situation and underwent another scan that revealed the cancer.
Joerger is in his second season as an assistant coach with the 76ers. He previously served as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings from 2016-19.
–Field Level Media