John Beilein's short time as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers will forever be stained by the time he reportedly called the players a "bunch of thugs." Though Beilein denied using the words, his players are alleged to have trolled him about it anyways.
According to a report from The Athletic, players would often play songs that contained word "thug," whenever Beilein was in earshot. The team reportedly had a "thug" playlist that included Trick Daddy's "I'm a Thug," Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," Tupac's "Thugz Mansion," and more.
After it was first reported that Beilein had referred to his players as "thugs" back in January, the rookie head coach insisted that he meant to say "slugs," and didn't realize he said "thugs" until his assistant coaches informed him.
"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 told ESPN at the time. "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."
Beilein's alleged poor choice of words wasn't the only issue players had with the coach. Players reportedly complained that the former University of Michigan coach overworked incoming players during Summer League. He also didn't foster good player-to-coach chemistry, and his college approach to player development just didn't transfer to the NBA.
As a result, Beilein and the team decided to cut ties on Tuesday. Beilein is leaving $12 million on the table while the Cavs are moving forward with J.B. Bickerstaff as the interim head coach.