John Beilein’s surprisingly brief tenure as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers is over after only 54 games at the helm.
In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement making the move official, Kevin Love is taking responsibility for how the manner in which he conducted himself at points this season played a significant role in Beilein’s departure.
By all accounts, the Cavaliers’ decision to hire a longtime college coach — along with the suspicion that Beilein would fail to adjust to NBA players — arguably was all but doomed to fail from the start.
While that may indeed have been the case, Love believes not only himself but the entire Cavaliers roster needs to take ownership of their role in how things played out so poorly under Beilein.
“We gotta do a little check on ourselves too. We gotta look at ourselves in the mirror too,” Love said, per Ben Axelrod of WKYC. "I was talking about passing that mirror test. Definitely myself — I’ve been a s–thead at some points this season. I let losing get the best of me, and nobody likes to do that … it’s really just looking at ourselves and finding out how we can get better. And from there, trying to put it all together.”
Despite Love’s comments, Beilein was not without fault. Reports suggest he behaved like a “dictator” and his apparently inadvertent use of the word “thugs” when calling out players did not help matters, either.
Still, there were a few occasions this season where Love created turmoil for the team. These included an “emotional verbal outburst” directed at Cavs general manager Koby Altman, along with an on-court incident involving Collin Sexton.
Kevin Love appeared to be visibly frustrated with Collin Sexton. pic.twitter.com/NKA02hBOt4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2020
Love did apologize for his “childish” behavior afterward, but the damage was already done.
Perhaps a transition from Beilein to J.B. Bickerstaff — someone with NBA head-coaching experience who is more attuned to the mindset of the modern professional basketball player — will pay dividends for the Cavs.
Either way, at an Eastern Conference-worst 14-40, it was arguably well past time to pull the plug on the John Beilein Experiment, Love’s admission of guilt notwithstanding.