DETROIT (WJW) — Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein said he accidentally used the word “thugs” when talking to his players during a film session in Detroit on Wednesday.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Beilein didn’t realize he used that word until staff later told him.
He told ESPN he meant to say “slugs,” as in slow moving when he instead reportedly said they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.”
Beilein said he reached out to his players individually to clarify his comment.
“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,” Beilein told ESPN.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman was reportedly made aware of what happened and was looking into it.
Beilein: “I didn’t realize I had said the word 'thugs' but my staff told me later I did and so I must have said it. I meant to say slugs, as in slow moving. We weren’t playing hard before…now we were playing harder. That’s what I was trying to say. I meant it as a compliment." https://t.co/BEhvH4xOuc
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2020