John Beilein now officially has an NBA win under his belt — and he received an impromptu water bottle shower to prove it.
Beilein led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 110-99 victory against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, his first win as an NBA head coach after dropping their season opener on Wednesday night.
The former Michigan coach, naturally, was awarded the game ball in the locker room after the victory and was quickly doused by his team, leaving him soaking wet in his suit by the time he finally made it to his postgame news conference.
“Excuse my appearance,” Beilein said, via Cleveland.com. “I just took a little bath and I didn’t think it was coming.”
Even though it’s just one win, and he’s amassed plenty of them throughout his storied collegiate coaching career, Beilein said he isn’t going to forget Saturday’s victory anytime soon.
“I’m very fortunate to have a lot of game balls, but this one’s going to be pretty special,” Beilein said, via Cleveland.com. “It’s an NBA ball, No. 1. But any time you change jobs like this, it’s a very difficult time on your family, on you and everyone, it’s such a transition. It will be special.
“I know it will be among the basketballs that I really cherish that I currently have. I don’t know where I’m going to put ‘em some day, but this one will find its way to being seen.”
The win was fairly dominant, too. After bouncing back and forth with the Pacers in the first quarter, Cleveland took off, outscoring Indiana by 19 points in the second quarter en route to a 24-point lead in the third. From there, it was smooth sailing to the 11-point victory.
Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers with a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 11 of 16 from the field. Kevin Love was close behind with a near-triple-double, finishing with 21 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
“We all needed [the win],” Thompson said, via Cleveland.com. “Of course, [Beilein] appreciated it. For him at the end of the day we can’t forget, even though he’s coached 40 years, he’s never coached an NBA team. It’s still a great accomplishment, your first game at home, get a win, especially against a playoff team and a very well-coached team like Indiana. It’s a great start to your coaching resume in the NBA. We’ve just got to keep it going.”
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