John Beilein couldn’t have expected he’d be inheriting a playoff team when shook everyone, skipping town as he left the Michigan basketball team for the Clevland Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t ever going to be a competitive basketball team this season. As great as LeBron James is, take a look at his history. He doesn’t enjoy playing with young players; he prefers older, veteran players who he trusts. It’s excellent when LeBron is on your team but be prepared for a lengthy rebuild after he leaves. You will be left with high priced veteran players who are running on fumes. The Cavaliers didn’t have a chance to be anything above what they are this season. Why would the former Michigan basketball coach expect anything different?
Yesterday the rumors became a reality, although it’s hard to believe the former Michigan basketball coach decided to step down as the Cavaliers head coach. You could see the writing on the wall after Beilein misspoke during a team film session noting his team was lethargic on the defensive end of the court. Rather than calling the players ‘slugs’ he said ‘thugs.’
That comment isn’t John Beilein if you’ve followed the head coach during his Michigan basketball days. Beilein isn’t that type of personality, believe it or not as wrong as it is, some head coaches would probably use terminology like that to try and spark a team to perform out of spite, that’s not Beilein’s style.
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Beilein is a tough coach, he’s a good coach, but he expects a lot out of his team. He’s the type of head coach who demands effort and preaches fundamentals. The problem is, unlike the past, he’s preaching to professional basketball players. Imagine John Beilein yelling at Kevin Love for taking a bad shot? Whether we like it or not, those things don’t go over well in professional basketball.
During the preseason, the young G-league players were expected to practice multiple times a day, mind you, not just a regular shoot around many hard practices, something they likely left college and became a professional to avoid. They’d enter preseason games and run out of gas against the well-rested opponents, which frustrated the players.
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd, and Joe Vardon, one source described Beilein as being a “dictator” whose style wasn’t suited for the NBA.
I’m sure you are shaking your head right now, but this is today’s NBA and our youth in 2020, folks.
The 67-year old Beilein had tremendous success during his time with the Michigan Wolverines, leading them to two Final Four appearances, two Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten tournament wins. Beilein took a broken program and made them once again relevant.
The Wolverines were able to land Juwan Howard after Beilein departed. Howard’s reputation from his playing days at Michigan and in the NBA is assisting the program in landing stellar recruits. Michigan fans will always support Beilein but are very content with where the program is today.
In his exit press conference, John mentioned the loosing is affecting his health. He said he isn’t happy coaching right now, mentioning happiness comes before money, money isn’t the issue.
Former Detroit Piston Andre Drummond certainly hasn’t helped the situation. He’s not precisely the Beilein prototype center. He’s a guy who is excellent on the boards but struggles to shoot and create space. Drummond also mentioned the situation in Cleveland is worse than Detroit. He threatened to opt-out of his deal at the end of the season if Beilein remained the teams’ head coach. It seems like Andre, who mostly minded his business during his time in Detroit, is becoming more of an entitled personality since the trade.
I’d expect Beilein to return to a college program that is tournament ready, at 67-years old I wouldn’t expect John to choose a rebuilding team to return too. It’s more than likely his coaching days are over.
John Beilein ends his NBA coaching career with a record of 14-40.