John Beilein Reportedly Told Cavs Players They Weren't Playing 'Like a Bunch of Thugs'

Beilein later apologized and said he meant to say "slugs" not "thugs."

john beilein thugs slugs

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 28: John Beilein of the Cleveland Cavaliers gives instruction in the first quarter during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on December 28, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

john beilein thugs slugs

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein reportedly told players that they weren't playing "like a bunch of thugs" anymore during a film session on Wednesday in Detroit.

The comment, unsurprisingly rubbed many the wrong. Citing league sources, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that players "left the room initially stunned and were increasingly disturbed." 

Beilein later spoke to ESPN about the incident and said that he meant to say "slugs."

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:

"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 explained. "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."

Back in May of 2019, it was reported that Beilein, who was previously a coach at the University of Michigan, signed a five-year deal with the Cavs. It's his first NBA coaching job.

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