Cavaliers take businessman's approach to practice

John Beilein is pleased with team's early progress

Brendan Gulick
October 02, 2019 - 2:08 pm

Brendan Gulick

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Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – There is something oddly refreshing about seeing new Cavaliers head coach John Beilein walk to the podium after practice wearing khaki-colored slacks and a blue golf shirt. It’s especially noticeable because he came directly off the practice floor, and it’s a long way from the typical attire of a t-shirt and shorts, sneakers and a whistle draped around the neck.

“These are not dress slacks, these are very casual khakis,” Beilein joked. “I will go different ways, but I am usually in a collared shirt. I wear a t-shirt every now and then. But can I say that these are those really nice Lululemon pants? They are very, very comfortable and so I’ll dress like this a lot.”

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Perhaps he subscribes to the theory that you should dress so as to be taken seriously. And yet, isn’t it what we should come to expect from a coach who preaches discipline as he tries to instill the right mindset and work ethic in many of his young players? 11 players on the training camp roster have spent two or fewer years in the NBA.

“I’ve never really thought of it that way, I’m just trying to be comfortable,” he continued. “I’ll wear sweat suits more and more, but it’s been a little too warm to wear those yet.”

Even if the subliminal message was unintended, discipline and accountability are going to be cornerstones of John Beilein’s tenure in Cleveland.

“I can’t discipline everything right now or we’d be here all day,” Beilein said. “I’m not talking about a bad attitude, I’m talking about slippage of being in a good stance, making a bad pass, all those things. But through video, through pulling somebody aside and saying ‘hey, here’s two plays I thought you should’ve made’ … they learn sometimes that it isn’t a lack of discipline sometimes but rather a lack of knowledge of how to play efficiently. That’s what discipline is – if you have discipline, you are efficient.”

Perhaps the positive energy at Cleveland Clinic Courts is due to the optimistic feeling that lingers through the beginning of a training camp. But the vibe during and after practice is undeniably evident, and seeing players continue to hang around long-after formal practice concludes is a promising sign. It sure seems like everyone wants to be here.

“What I really like is what you’re seeing right now (behind us),” Beilein noted. “Many of our players, especially our veterans are out there shooting right now after we just practiced for two and a half hours. I’m enthusiastic about the way they want to win, they’re embracing the coaching staff and our ideas – whether they are new or old – they’re listening to us. There is a lot going on.”

As he often uses words like “freshmen” and references what he has to teach young players, you can’t help but feel like the Cavaliers have the right man leading their rebuild.

After all, Coach Beilein is not the only Michigan man who’s been known for wearing khakis.

“Jim Harbaugh made khakis more popular than with me, but I was wearing khakis back before he was born.”

Darius Garland and Larry Nance Jr. Updates

Darius Garland sat out yesterday’s full-on practice with right foot soreness and is close to being full-go again.

“He was almost there. He did more today and we were going to see how he felt afterwards. But as I said yesterday, he got so much work in (last week). Half the stuff we are doing right now is for Cedi (Osman), Delly (Matthew Dellavedova) and Kevin (Love). Darius and all the freshmen had the weekend off. We are not concerned at all.”

Larry Nance Jr. was back on the practice floor today after not feeling healthy yesterday.

Preseason Update

The Cavaliers first pre-season game is October 7th at newly-renovated Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. They are hosting San Lorenzo de Almagro, a team that competes in Argentina’s Liga Nacional de Básquet (LNB). They are the reigning Argentinian champions in LNB and play their games in Buenos Aires. The matchup will also mark the sixth time the Cavaliers have faced an international opponent in preseason play (2006-Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, 2009-Athens Olympiacos, 2010-CSKA Moscow, 2012-Montepaschi Siena, 2014-Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv).