John Beilein reportedly behaved like a ‘dictator’ to Cavs players
John Beilein’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers is over after only 54 games, and by all accounts the longtime college coach’s dictatorial style meant the experiment was all but doomed to fail from its onset.
In a deep dive into how the hiring of Beilein highlights how the Cavaliers are suffering from a debilitating organizational culture problem, Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic explored how the longtime Michigan Wolverines coach’s “dictator” style was never going to be tolerated by NBA players.
Said approach to coaching included Beilein’s “tone toward players” in his interactions with them. This included Beilein “allegedly overly harping his voice in film sessions, nitpicking fundamentals and showing an inability to adapt to the NBA’s offensive and defensive structures.”
Perhaps not all that surprising in retrospect, the proverbial final straw to Beilein’s ill-fated ascension to the NBA coaching ranks came when he referred to players as “thugs” during a team meeting in January.
Beilein, who ultimately is said to have become “miserable in his new job” and regretted taking it, later expressed regret over using the term, although he provided a dubious reason for saying “thug” in the first place.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but given how horribly things played out for the Cavaliers under Beilein’s leadership, the case can be made that team ownership and the front office should have seen such a potential disaster coming.