Just because John Beilein is out as Cleveland Cavaliers head coach doesn’t mean the team is looking any better, especially in the eyes of the media.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a mess, and it’s not going to get better. The team is loaded with talent, but with huge egos. As more and more stories come out about the 2019-2020 Cavaliers, the more and more John Beilein looks like a victim in this dramatic mess. Yes, Beilein called the players ‘thugs’ by accident. Yes, he took ownership. Yes, he apologized. How many of these players can say the same thing for their behavior?
When you accept someone’s apology, you don’t taunt that person over and over about it. You let it go, and you move on. That’s what mature, responsible adults do. From Kevin Love’s on-court tantrums to the downright despicable behavior the team has shown in the locker room by leaking information to the media. The whole thing has blown up so much that now the national media has come down hard on the team.
Charles Barkley spoke on the team’s dysfunction, calling the team unprofessional in their handling of the Beilein-era. Speaking on the TNT series Inside the NBA, Barkley went off on the squad.
"“I want to call out the Cleveland Cavaliers. I thought what they did to coach Beilein was ridiculous, unprofessional,” Barkley said. “I think the veterans on that team were not leaders. I think the young guys on that team who can’t play think they are better than they are and they tried to get that man fired. They got that man fired … I’m so disgusted by those players trying to get that man fired.“John Beilein is a hell of a coach and I think he’s a good guy. But for those players to complain about ‘We’re practicing too hard, we’re watching too much film,’ because they stink. Because they stink. I just didn’t think that was fair. When a coach is wrong I’m going to call him out. When players are wrong I’m going to call them out. I’m disgusted by what the Cavaliers did to coach Beilein.”"
Beilein left the team before the first official practice under J.B. Bickerstaff but not before meeting with them and saying goodbye. He also released a statement, explaining why he felt it was time to move on.
"“I find losing very challenging and this year has taken a much bigger toll on me than I expected,” Beilein said. “I grew concerned for the consequences this toll could potentially take on my own health and my family’s well-being down the road. I was not certain I could be at my best for the remainder of the season and in the future. That would not be fair to the players, coaches and support staff.”"
The team needs to make major changes if it wants to succeed. When you get called out for not wanting to practice or watch film, that shows how much (or how little) work ethic you have. This team has no heart, or class and major changes need to be made to improve things. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of Koby Altman.