John Beilein, Cavaliers reportedly part ways: A timeline of the turbulence between Cleveland and head coach


John Beilein’s demanding coaching style led his college teams to 13 NCAA Tournaments and two Final Fours. However, it didn’t translate to the NBA. Beilein has parted ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers 54 games into his four-year deal with the team, leaving $12 million guaranteed, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania.

JB Bickerstaff, who coached the Memphis Grizzlies from 2017-19 and joined Cleveland’s staff with Beilein, will reportedly take over for Beilein. 

At 14-40, the second-worst record in the NBA, the Cavs played uninspired throughout Beilein’s tenure. We take a look at the timeline that has led to Beilein’s departure midway through his first season.

October 2019 — Training camp

In training camp, players reportedly tuned Beilein out for “overly harping his voice in film sessions, nitpicking fundamentals and showing an inability to adapt to the NBA’s offensive and defensive structures.” Beilein, on the other hand, felt “stunned by the culture of the modern NBA player.” According to Charania, Beilein didn’t understand why players sat out with minor injuries, struggled to grasp fundamental concepts and opposed long film and practice sessions. “Training camp was a disaster, and Beilein knew it,” Charania wrote. 

Jan. 4, 2020 — Kevin Love’s outburst

Internal frustration increased with each passing loss — and resulted in an emotional verbal outburst from Kevin Love. On. Jan. 4, the veteran reportedly screamed at GM Koby Altman about his “displeasure and disgust” with the organization. On the same day, Love posted a picture on Instagram of Joaquin Phoenix forcing his face into a smile from a “Joker” movie scene. He also demanded a pass from Collin Sexton against the Oklahoma City Thunder, then got the ball and immediately swung it to Cedi Osman’s feet.

Jan. 8, 2020 — The ‘thugs’ comment

Beilein likely sealed his fate with the Cavaliers days later. On Jan. 8, with Cleveland sitting at a dismal 10-27, he reportedly called his players “thugs” during a film session. Beilein apologized the next day by saying he meant slugs, but Charania wrote the players “never really embraced his explanation.” 

Feb. 6, 2020 — Newly acquired Drummond says Cleveland ‘worse than Detroit’

The Cavs acquired Andre Drummond, and the former Pistons star quickly shared the team’s sentiment of Beilein. According to Charania, Drummond told his new teammates the situation in Cleveland was “worse than Detroit.”

Feb. 18, 2020 — Beilein, Cavs agree to part ways

Beilein reportedly agreed to leave the team — and $12 million guaranteed — Tuesday because he “no longer felt suited for the job.” 

His time in the NBA was disastrous, but Beilein’s college coaching resume is far from it. Beilein took all four Division I teams he coached to the NCAA Tournament, winning conference championships in each stop besides West Virginia. At Michigan, Beilein won Big 10 Coach of the Year in 2013-14 and developed NBA players such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Caris LeVert, Duncan Robinson and Moe Wagner. We’ll see if he ultimately decides to jump back to the college ranks, but for now, his short time in the NBA appears over.





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