Before I give my opinion of coach John Beilein stepping away as Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers it is probably important to mention that I am a die-hard Michigan Wolverines fan. I watched as Tommy Amaker fought against NCAA sanctions and was so damn close to getting Michigan back to the dance only to never see his hard work come to fruition. His departure lead to the university taking a chance on Beilein who wasn’t a household name even though he was successful everywhere he had coached. Coach B brought stability and recognition back to a program that had lost its way and left knowing his replacement was stepping in to a fantastic situation. He will forever be a Michigan Wolverine.
I was excited for Beilein and happy he pursued his dream of coaching in the NBA even if it meant taking a job in Ohio for a gawd awful Cleveland Cavaliers team. I thought the situation was one where patience was needed but with yet another high draft pick the franchise was in good hands to grow. Apparently however, once athletes get cut their first check, they’re now elite players who have learned everything and don’t have to listen to coaches or take instruction. The early rumblings of players complaining about working on fundamentals and his coaching style was surprising and disheartening. Nobody on Cleveland’s roster has done anything to warrant the kind of treatment they apparently wanted and considering their most recent lack of success minus Lebron. One would have thought a change in strategy would be welcomed by players with the intention of winning but instead they’re more concerned with their rights as players, and how their coach speaks to them.
This resonated with me as I face this reality in the retail industry everyday. The players, like my fellow young employees, seem to think that they’re deserving of more money or a certain level of respect prior to obtaining success or a particular status within the company. Regarding the “thugs” comment which Beilein took upon himself to apologize about, It is laughable that this group could take offense to anything considering how poorly they have played this season. I’m sure they would have preferred the staff simply call the players out for playing like shit and being so bad they should be in the G league. The players on the Cavs have some growing up (literally & figuratively) to do before they can even sniff what being a professional is.
As a Michigan fan and someone who has attended both their Final Four trips, I am happy that Coach B got out of that wasteland and hope he either lands in his preferred college destination or a nice retirement location.