CLEVELAND -- Not all Cavaliers players are seeing eye-to-eye with their coach, citing a college-like environment supposedly created by John Beilein, according to a report from The Athletic.
“Guys drowned out his voice, and when guys start searching for the next in line for help, I believe you’ve lost them,” The Athletic quoted an anonymous Cavs player as saying.
Beilein, 66, is in his first season as an NBA coach after more than three decades in the college game. He spent 12 years at Michigan before coming to Cleveland.
The Cavs looked gritty and determined during the first few weeks of the season. They started 4-5 with a couple of impressive road wins, but have lost 10 of 11 since. Several of those defeats have been blowouts.
Beilein's top assistant is former Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff. Along with coaching the Grizzlies, Bickerstaff is a longtime NBA assistant. His dad, Bernie Bickerstaff, is a former NBA coach and current senior advisor with the Cavs.
Per The Athletic, some of the Cavs players have put faith in the younger Bickerstaff, 40, than they do Beilein.
"Veterans and younger players, from all corners of the roster, are frustrated with what they see as the pitfalls of a college environment Beilein brought with him," the report stated. "When the Cavs were 4-5, players viewed some of these things as quirks of a coach with a different approach."
The players are apparently annoyed with Beilein's "nitpicking over basic fundamentals, too much harping in lengthy film sessions, not enough versatility on offense, and a broader lack of understanding of the NBA game and opposing players," according to the report.
Beilein's starting lineup includes a rookie guard in Darius Garland, second-year guard in Collin Sexton and third-year small forward in Cedi Osman. Many around the league aren't surprised with the Cavs' 5-15 record. The plan this season was to develop the younger players, with veterans and former champions Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson leading the way.
According to The Athletic report, the issues with Beilein "are not limited to one demographic."
The Cavs host the Orlando Magic on Friday (7 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio). Love is questionable with an illness. Thompson is also sick but listed as probable.