Cavaliers Firing John Beilein For Thugs Comment?
Are the Cavaliers firing John Beilein for his thugs comment?
It is too early to say definitively, but this may have been the straw that finally broke camel’s back.
On Wednesday evening Beilein issued an apology to multiple players for using the word “thugs” to describe them during a team meeting.
Beilein apparently referred to the players as “thugs” while reviewing video during a session the same day.
He insisted that it was just a misstatement. The term he was looking for to describe the guys, according to him, is “slugs.”
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Beilein reached out to several Cavs players to personally apologize for the misunderstanding.
After stunning players in a film session with a verbal suggestion that they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs,” Cavaliers coach John Beilein reached out individually to players tonight to insist he meant to use the word “slugs.” Story on ESPN: https://t.co/kqhRJ0qGjs
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2020
“I didn’t realize that I had said the word ‘thugs,’ but my staff told me later I did and so I must have said it,” Beilein said in a statement to ESPN.
“I meant to say slugs, as in slow moving. We weren’t playing hard before, and now we were playing harder. I meant it as a compliment.
“That’s what I was trying to say. I’ve already talked to eight of my players tonight, and they are telling me that they understand.”
Regardless of what Beilein meant to say, his description did not seem to go over well with his team. Couple that with the fact that there were already multiple reports of discontent earlier this year, and you have a potentially troubling situation in Cleveland.
At the beginning of the season a number of players revealed that they did not believe Beilein had made a smooth transition to the professional game. They said that he had trouble treating them like the grown men that they were, as opposed to the collegiate talents he was used to dealing with.
Several players, namely Kevin Love, have expressed severe frustration with Beilein and how this most recent Cavaliers season has transpired up to this point.
Love and fellow big man Tristan Thompson are said to desperately desire a trade.
Not helping matters at all is that Cleveland is also having a terrible season.
Thus far through 37 games the Cavaliers are 10-27. Following a 115-113 defeat to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night, the team has now lost five straight games.
It is okay to have an occasional misstatement when you are a good coach with a good record. Beilein does not have that sort of room for error, though.
The Cavaliers will likely fire him sooner rather than later.