John Beilein doesn’t have any reservations about leaving Michigan to become the new head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he made the decision, he was all in.
On Tuesday night, Beilein made an appearance at the NBA Draft Lottery, as the Cavaliers hoped to move up in the 2019 NBA Draft. The former Michigan head coach was a big target for the media, asking several questions about his decision to leave Ann Arbor. Beilein admitted that it wasn’t an easy decision, but he felt like it was the right one.
“It didn’t take me that long [to make the decision], but there was a lot of consideration. Where we are today is the best thing to talk about right now,” Beilein said. “This is great to be a part of this. We’ve got the fifth pick in the draft, the 26th pick in the draft, we’re in great shape.”
Beilein has spent most of his career at the college level. Now that he’s taken the NBA job, he will have coached at every level of basketball: high school, junior college, Division III, Division II and Division I. That’s a pretty impressive resume, and not something you see too frequently these days.
Along with the opportunity to coach at basketball’s highest level, Beilein said it was the young talent and front office staff that appealed to him.
“I saw some film, watched a lot of film on them. A lot of great young talent,” Beilein said. “Meeting the support staff. Meeting Dan Gilbert. Those all made a tough decision much easier.”
While at Michigan, Beilein won 274 games and led his teams to two B1G regular season titles, two B1G Tournament titles and two Final Four appearances. The Wolverines were expected to be a top contender in the conference again in the 2019-20 season.
Beilein was also asked if this was the right time for him to make the leap from college to the NBA.
“There’s never a good time to leave,” Beilein said. “You can make a couple choices — you can leave to early, maybe, or you could leave to late. You never know when to leave. I think this was an opportunity that has so much potential, it was too difficult to pass up. It was the right thing to do.”
John Beilein talks from NBA Lottery about his move from Michigan to the Cleveland Cavaliers pic.twitter.com/FqjxESzyMi
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) May 15, 2019