Cavaliers players played songs with the word ‘thugs’ in the lyrics around coach John Beilein, per report

John Beilein’s head coaching tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers barely lasted a half season. It seemed to all go downhill after he reportedly called the players thugs during a film session earlier in the year.

Beilein claimed that he meant to say “slugs” instead, but it appears that the locker room wasn’t exactly buying that. According to a report from The Athletic, multiple Cavaliers players began playing songs that included the word “thug” in the title or lyrics.

[M]ultiple players began playing songs that included the word “thug” whenever Beilein was within earshot, sources said: Bone Thugz-n-Harmony’s “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” and Tupac’s “Thugz Mansion” among them. As the team boarded the bus a few days after the incident, one player was intentionally playing Trick Daddy’s “I’m a Thug” with Beilein a few feet away. Other players blasted songs with the word “thug” loudly during workouts in the facility. Players did this to make light of a very tough situation, according to one team source.

“The worst part to me was not owning that he said it,” one player told The Athletic.

Clearly the locker room wasn’t willing to move past what Beilein had said earlier this season. The original incident occurred back on Jan. 8, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the players “never really embraced his explanation.”

On Tuesday, Beilein and the Cavaliers agreed to part ways and Beilein left $12 million on the table in his departure. A source also told The Athletic that Beilein wasn’t a head coach that was “suited” for the current state of the NBA and was more of a dictator.

It’s presumed that Beilein will head back to the college ranks now that his NBA tenure was less-than-stellar.

J.B. Bickerstaff is set to take over for Beilein for the remainder of the season and will look to try and right the ship. It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle with the Cavaliers currently having just a 14-40 record so far, which is the worst in the Eastern Conference and second-worst in the entire NBA behind the Golden State Warriors.

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