Former Michigan basketball coach and new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein went on the set of ESPN’s NBA Combine coverage to talk about his new job and why he decided to make the jump to the NBA at this point in his coaching career.
College hoops analyst Jay Bilas mentioned that he has read articles (which he doesn’t necessarily agree with) about Beilein heading to the NBA is a reflection of the current state of college basketball and all its scandals.
“Do you think that this is a decision moving toward an opportunity moreso than leaving?,” Bilas asked Beilein.
“Yeah, college basketball has been so good to me, my family, and the experience for the kids I’ve coached. I love it. I love it,” Beilein told Bilas. “Yeah, we have some flaws right now, but everybody knows that and I got a lot of confidence the NCAA is gonna fix it. But when you have this opportunity (Cleveland job), you just gotta say ‘I did everything I could to try and make college basketball better, make my team better, the University of Michigan tremendous,’ But now it’s time for me personally to make this move because it’s gonna be what probably is the best thing for me at this point in my age.”
Age factored in to Beilein’s decision, at 66 years old, there aren’t going to be many opportunities left to coach in the NBA, and Beilein took the chance that presented itself. While there’s no doubt the era of scandals and one and dones would annoy a coach like Beilein who abides by NCAA rules, he headed to the NBA because he wanted to coach in the pros.