Report: Cavaliers' John Beilein to continue as head coach after calling players 'thugs'

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/cleveland/" data-ylk="slk:Cavaliers">Cavaliers</a> head coach John Beilein is expected to keep his job after calling players "thugs." (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Cavaliers head coach John Beilein is expected to keep his job after calling players "thugs." (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

John Beilein, head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is expected to continue on in his job after calling his players “thugs.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that team leadership has no plans to make any changes following the incident.

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Beilein, who is in his first year coaching the Cavaliers, used the word during a film session in Detroit on Wednesday. He told Wojnarowski that he didn’t realize he’d used the word “thugs,” which has negative racial connotations, and had intended to use the word “slugs.”

"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 on Wednesday night. "I meant to say slugs, as in slow-moving. We weren't playing hard before, and now we were playing harder.”

When Beilein said the word, a “hush” reportedly fell over the room, and players were both “stunned” and “disturbed.” Beilein told Wojnarowski on Wednesday night that he had been reaching out to players individually to explain, and that players had been “understanding.” From Wojnarowski’s new report, it seems that Beilein apologized to the entire team for the incident.

The Cavaliers have had a rough season so far. They’re 10-27 and currently on a five-game losing streak. Kevin Love, their biggest and most talented star, appears to be frustrated and deeply unhappy with how things are going. Beilein signed a five-year contract in May of 2019, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere — for now, at least.

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