The Cavs Are the Problem, John Beilein Was Just the Organization's Latest Failure

Ryan Phillips
John Beilein coaches the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Atlanta Hawks
John Beilein coaches the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Atlanta Hawks / Jason Miller/Getty Images
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John Beilein has officially resigned as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers after only nine months at the team's helm. While Beilein was anything but successful in the NBA, he's not, nor was he ever, the problem. The Cavaliers organization was the real issue.

As ESPN's Marc J. Spears pointed out Wednesday night, when J.B. Bickerstaff takes over as the Cavs' head coach, he will be the team's sixth head coach since the 2013-14 season. That is tied with the New York Knicks for the most in that span. The Knicks are a stone-cold laughingstock of an organization, so you know that means the Cavs are a mess, too.

Beilein did himself no favors and clearly didn't connect with his roster. It was a bad marriage from the start, but my point here is that he never had a chance at success.

Here's a fun fact: the last time the Cavaliers were in the postseason without LeBron James on their roster was 1998. That's 22 years ago. The Cavs missed the playoffs from 1998 through 2003, then drafted LeBron and missed them in 2004 and 2005. They made it for five straight seasons, then James left for Miami and they missed four years in a row. James returned from South Beach and the Cavs reached the postseason in four consecutive seasons, and won a title in 2016. James left in 2018 and in the two seasons since he's left, the team has been an abject disaster, going 33-103 so far.

I have news for Cleveland: LeBron isn't coming back.

Without James, that franchise has been an absolute disaster regardless of who has been coaching. The Cavs currently have young players like Darius Garland and Collin Sexton but haven't shown the ability to develop long-term assets of late. James and Kyrie Irving are the two exceptions to that rule and both now play elsewhere.

Garland and Sexton have some upside but other than that, Cleveland's roster is a disaster. Kevin Love is owed a max contract for three more seasons. Andre Drummond could opt-in on his $28.75 million deal for next season. Larry Nance Jr. is owed $32.06 million over the next three seasons. It goes on and on. The Cavs have repeatedly made bad decisions with their roster.

Ever since Dan Gilbert let David Griffin walk away, the Cavs have been a mess.

Mike Brown, David Blatt, Tyronn Lue, Larry Drew and Beilein all had the same problem J.B. Bickerstaff will have: they were coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James.

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