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The Detroit Pistons tried to pry John Beilein away from the University of Michigan last summer and Pistons vice chairman Arm Tellem thinks the Cavaliers got quite a steal this year.
“I’m sorry for the University of Michigan. I love the University of Michigan, I love John Beilein,” Tellem said, via Dana Garauder of the Detroit Free Press. “I think it was the perfect choice for the Cavaliers.”
Beilein, 66, signed a multi-year deal with the Cavaliers earlier this week after 12 years at Michigan. He has never before coached in the NBA, but there is no doubt Cavs general manager Koby Altman made a splash with the hire. Beilein’s teams are known for their constant motion and throwback offensive style. It is similar to what Steve Kerr implemented with the Golden State Warriors in 2014.
He is also known as a players’ coach, someone is willing to seek the input from the team. In other words, you won’t hear Beilein screaming Bobby Knight-like proclamations throughout the gym. Beilein is known as a teacher and a gentlemen.
“John Beilein is an outstanding person, an even better person than he is a coach, and he’s a fantastic coach,” Tellem said. “It will be great for them as they build with a young team.”
The Pistons eventually hired Dwane Casey last summer and couldn’t be more thrilled with their choice. He too is a people person and helped direct them back to the playoffs in his first year.
As for Beilein, he likely would have remained at Michigan if not for the Cavaliers.
“Obviously, by making this move, he wanted a change,” Tellem said. “I think he would have only done it for a couple of situations. I think he wanted to stay in the area and the Pistons and Cavs were probably the two organizations (he was interested in). Otherwise, he was perfectly happy with Michigan and would have stayed there. But I think the Cavs presented him a unique opportunity and the timing was right.”
Altman and the Cavs couldn’t be more thrilled.
“He’s a great teacher and I don’t think there’s a better hire the Cavaliers could have made than John Beilein,” Tellem said.