Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach John Beilein made a crucial mistake during a Wednesday night film session with his team, calling his players “thugs” as he described their play.
According to an apology made by Beilein, he simply misspoke.
“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. “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.”
According to Wojnarowski, “a hush fell over the room” after the former University of Michigan coach said “thugs” during the session. Shock fell over the players and things got heavy in the aftermath of the comment.
Fortunately, it seems Beilein got out in front of this scandal, and there doesn’t appear to be any long-term consequences at this time.
On a team scale, it’s not the first time the Cavs have dealt with off-court drama this season. In the midst of brutal losses, the team has been involved in a number of incidents with their star Kevin Love, who clearly wants a future apart from the franchise.
While this latest story with Beilein isn’t the worst thing that’s happened for them this season, it isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last.