Cavs’ Beilein apologizes to players for calling them ‘thugs’

Cavaliers coach John Beilein offers instructions to guard Collin Sexton. Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Cavaliers coach John Beilein has apologized individually to players after he accidentally called them “a bunch of thugs” when he meant “slugs,” Beilein told ESPN late Wednesday.

Beilein was wrapping up a film session in Detroit when he says he misspoke.

“I didn’t realize that I had said the word ‘thugs,’ but my staff told me later I did and so I must have said it,” Beilein told ESPN on Wednesday. “I meant to say slugs, as in slow-moving. 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.”

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