John Beilein leaving the Michigan Wolverines to make the jump to the Cleveland Cavaliers was one of the most stunning news stories of the years for us last year. Unfortunately for him, that marriage looks all but over and will not even last an entire season.
Multiple reports overnight indicated that Beilein and the Cavaliers could be on the verge of parting ways by way of Beilein stepping down from his position.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers and John Beilein have discussed the possibility of the coach stepping down before the end of the All-Star break, and Beilein was expected to reach a decision in the next 24-48 hours, league sources told ESPN,” writes insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst.
“Beilein was expected to speak with Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman again about his future as soon as Monday, league sources said.”
It has been a rough go of it for Beilein in his first season as an NBA coach. The Cavs are currently 14-40 and while he was expected to be a guiding hand for young guards Colin Sexton and Darrius Garland, things have not gone extremely well. Beilein has been at the center of a handful of public and private issues with the team and the ESPN report states that he has been “miserable” at times with the losing that comes with an NBA rebuild.
Given that Beilein had a previously flirtation with the Detroit Pistons during the 2018 offseason, it was not 100 percent surprising he wanted to give the NBA a try, but clearly it is not his cup of tea despite checking off one more box off of the coaching stops checklist in his career. The Cavs in a post-LeBron James era are an absolute disaster and it was hard to imagine a worst situation to step into, but he gave it a shot anyways.
Some Michigan fans will go all Nelson Muntz on Beilein, laughing and saying “I told you so,” but he took a chance on himself and had a chance to coach pro basketball when he may not have a ton of years left in that profession. Given that this was set to be a rebuild year for Michigan, it was the perfect time for both sides to make some sort of change.
Beilein strikes me as a guy who still has some juice left in the tank and it would not be surprising to see him back in college basketball next season (maybe at Texas with Luke Yaklich?) coaching somewhere. ESPN+ has named Texas and a few other schools as teams to watch for his services.
Be thankful that it appears Michigan got it right with Juwan Howard, but nobody should use that as ammo against Beilein. There is no Howard and there is no successful Michigan without Beilein and what he accomplished. It still doesn’t feel right that he didn’t finish his career in Ann Arbor, though. But, as they say, everything happens for a reason.