Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein apologized Wednesday evening for a word he says he used accidentally in a team meeting.
Beilein reportedly called his Cavs players “thugs” while going over some video on Wednesday. The first-year NBA head coach says he meant to say “slugs” while describing their style of play.
The Cavs head coach told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he’s already reached out to several of his players to apologize.
“I didn’t realize that I had said the word ‘thugs,’ but my staff told me later I did and so I must have said it,” Beilein told ESPN. “I meant to say slugs, as in slow moving. We weren’t playing hard before, and now we were playing harder. I meant it as a compliment. That’s what I was trying to say. I’ve already talked to eight of my players tonight, and they are telling me that they understand.”
The Cavs are 10-27 on the season and have lost five straight games, but played better in a 115-113 loss to the Pistons.
Beilein told ESPN that he meant to use “slugs” to describe the way the Cavs had been playing in previous games.
Beilein held a film session at a Detroit hotel on Wednesday, and largely derided his players for poor decision-making and execution, sources said. The Cavaliers play the Pistons on Thursday in Detroit.
Cleveland is set to play at Detroit on Thursday night.