John Beilein Addressed His ‘Thugs-Slugs’ Mistake And Will Reportedly Continue Coaching The Cavs

Cavaliers coach John Beilein probably entered Thursday’s shootaround without a clear idea on how much longer he’d be coaching in Cleveland. On Wednesday night, Beilein confirmed to ESPN that in a film session with the team he had said they were no longer playing like “a bunch of thugs” but claimed that what he meant to say was they were no longer playing like “a bunch of slugs,” in reference to a better show of energy lately. It’s quite the mixup, and one that understandably had players on the team upset given the seriously negative connotation of using the word “thugs” when addressing a group that is primarily made up of young black men.

Multiple Cavs players were disturbed by the comment and Beilein had to call individual players to explain himself and apologize once he was made aware of what he’d said. He once again apologized to the team before shootaround and according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Cavs GM Kobe Altman met with players on the team to see how they felt about the “verbiage” used. In the end, the Cavs are choosing to stick with Beilein for what should be the rest of the season.

After shootaround, Beilein addressed the media about his comments in the film session.

“It’s something I have to learn from and just enunciate better and just be clearer with what my intents were.”

Kevin Love seemed to back his coach in this situation with his own comments trying to move his team past the incident.

Beilein has not had a smooth first year in the NBA. Reports have come out with players being frustrated by his coaching and recently Love was seen showing some of his frustrations on the floor. While many teams go through rough transitional phases this has been one of the messier ones in recent memory, and accidentally calling your players “thugs” doesn’t help matters.

For now, the Cavs are choosing to move on from the incident, but as the losses continue to pile up and players begin to grow more frustrated you have to wonder how many more chances Beilein is going to get to right the ship in Cleveland. He certainly can’t afford another incident like this.