John Beilein apologized to Cleveland Cavaliers players for saying that they were no longer playing "like a bunch of thugs," saying that he meant to use the word "slugs."
The incident took place during a film session on Wednesday.
"I didn't realize that I had said the word 'thugs,' but my staff told me later I did and so I must have said it. I meant to say slugs, as in slow-moving. We weren't playing hard before, and now we were playing harder. I meant it as a compliment. That's what I was trying to say," Beilein told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Koby Altman was alerted to the language following the film session, then reached out to Beilein to clarify his comments.
Altman is currently in the process of gathering context and details of the film session.