May 13, 2019 will forever go down in Michigan basketball lore. 'Shock' and 'disbelief' were two words to describe the emotions of staff members, players, fans and prized recruits that Monday, because the winningest head coach in program history, John Beilein, one year after flirting with the Detroit Pistons' head coaching opening, decided to take his talents to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Many remember where they were when they either read NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski's tweet — "Michigan’s John Beilein has agreed to a five-year deal to become coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources tell ESPN" — at 8:43 a.m. ET or received a phone call or text message from someone who did.
For context, the Cavs were bad the year before they drafted Irving first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Things were so dire Luke Harangody, Samardo Samuels, Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins played meaningful minutes for them. They were so bad they posted a then-record 26 game losing streak and only snapped it after squeaking by the hapless Los Angeles Clippers 126-119 in overtime.
Even Garland calls 2019-20 one of his worst seasons since he started playing -- a sentiment shared by assistant coach J.J. Outlaw, who is Garland’s mentor. I probably don’t do the greatest job of listening to a lot of the rumors, the reports and the chatter, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, it certainly wasn’t the season we wanted to have,” Outlaw told cleveland.com. Make no mistakes or excuses for it.