Ex-Michigan Wolverines coach John Beilein ready for challenge of the NBA
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO — Whether it was the right time to leave Michigan for the Cleveland Cavaliers, John Beilein wasn’t sure.
One thing he had no doubt about was this: It was the right move to make.
Beilein decided it was time to jump to the NBA and see if he can win on basketball’s biggest stage after molding winners at the college level for 41 years.
“There’s never a good time to leave,” he said following the draft lottery in Chicago on Tuesday. “You can make a couple choices. You can leave too early or you can leave too late. You never know when to leave. This was an opportunity that has so much potential it was too difficult to pass up. It was the right thing to do.”
Beilein accepted a big challenge on Monday when he took the Cavaliers’ job after 12 seasons at Michigan.
The offensive whiz who re-established the Wolverines as national championship contenders will try to orchestrate a similar turnaround in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers won just 19 games in a stormy season following LeBron James’ departure for the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s a challenge the 66-year-old Beilein is ready to embrace.
“We have good young players,” he said. “Kevin Love. We’ve got some guys with a lot of experience, especially with winning. I talked with all the players today. I feel a good karma right now. Last year, although it was difficult for all, we all learned a lot. Everybody’s gonna grow from it and attack next year with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of spirit, a lot of optimism.”