John Beilein's unhappiness with the Cavaliers and the NBA style of game began as early as the preseason and only seemed to get worse as the season progressed, according to a report from The Athletic.
Beilein signed a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year before the season -- but he and the Cavaliers are parting ways after just 54 games together. It is believed Beilein will surrender most of his salary just to get away from the franchise.
Early in training camp, Beilein had the players huddled around him following a practice and yelled, "When coach is talking, everyone else shuts up."
Eventually, it seemed, the Cavaliers began to tune him out and turn away.
"He was a dictator -- not a coach suited for today's NBA," The Athletic quoted a source as saying.
Beilein, 67, was widely respected in 41 years as a college coach, the previous 12 at Michigan. He is expected to be perhaps the top candidate for college openings next season.
But unlike recent college-to-pros coaches such as Brad Stevens (Boston) and Billy Donovan (Oklahoma City), Beilein entered a major rebuilding situation. With little practice time or time to teach, the losses clearly began to wear on him.
Also, according to The Athletic, Beilein was "stunned" by the modern NBA player. That included players missing practices for "mild soreness" or simply because winning is not currently a priority for the franchise.
Beilein also struggled with Kevin Love resting on the second night of back-to-backs, trades and rumors of trades, as well as other general aspects of the pro game that you don't see in college, where coaches are king.
Not all of this is a major surprise. Rookie players can also struggle to adapt to the high-profile lifestyle and big business elements of the NBA.
But the Cavs and Beilein finally got to the point where they realized this would never get better. The team was regressing, less in the locker room than on the court, but too much in both areas.
Now, for better or worse, associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will take over for Beilein. Bickerstaff was fired in Memphis last season after that franchise believed he was not suited for its own rebuild. The Grizzlies changed coaches to Taylor Jenkins, added Ja Morant and are now in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Cavs, it seems, are starting over ... again.
While the Beilein situation is no one's fault, it is another example of just how far the Cavaliers (14-40) still have yet to go.
Cavs GM Koby Altman and Beilein discussed the idea of Beilein stepping aside just prior to the All-Star break -- with the Cavs riding a streak of 12 straight home losses before beating Atlanta at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse last week.
"Cleveland ownership and management had been determined to see through a difficult start with him, but it's become increasingly apparent to the front office and Beilein that the partnership was headed to an inevitable split," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing league sources.
Altman and assistant GM Mike Gansey were instrumental in bringing Beilein to the Cavs. Gansey played for Beilein at West Virginia when the Mountaineers upset Chris Paul and Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, advancing to the Elite Eight.
Beilein's difficult time in the NBA included reports of player unrest in December and an incident at a film session in early January in which he admittedly referred to the players as "thugs." Beilein apologized and said he misspoke -- but by then, it seemed, it was too late.