First-year NBA head coach John Beilein appears to have already lost the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room.
Players are "bristling" at Beilein because he's treating this season as if they, and he, are still in college, sources told The Athletic's Joe Vardon and Shams Charania.
As a result, they've begun looking past Beilein and are instead turning to lead assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff for guidance, according to Vardon and Charania.
"Guys drowned out his voice, and when guys start searching for the next in line for help, I believe you've lost them," one Cavs player told Vardon and Charania.
Beilein signed a five-year contract with the Cavaliers this offseason after a successful 12-season stint with Michigan. The 66-year-old turned around a struggling Wolverines program that had fallen from the graces of the "Fab Five" era, leading Michigan to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a pair of national championship games.
Beilein is highly respected in college basketball circles but doesn't seem to have earned that trust at the pro level.
Players on the Cavaliers have apparently noted that Beilein has a "lack of understanding" of the NBA game and opposing players.
"Our assistants are definitely more prepared for the NBA," another Cavs player told Vardon and Charania.
The 40-year-old interviewed for the Cavaliers' head coaching vacancy before ultimately losing out to Beilein.
The Cavs began the 2019-20 campaign with a 4-5 record before dropping 10 of their next 11 games.