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The Cleveland Cavaliers may have gotten a win over the Detroit Pistons, 115-112, on Jan. 9, but the crew behind TNT’s popular ‘Inside the NBA’ had plenty to unload regarding the Cavs, head coach John Beilein’s use of the word “thugs” during a Wednesday film session in Detroit, which he already apologized for, and how the players are handling it.

First, let’s go to the tape:

Here’s what Shaquille O’Neal has to say, according to WKYC 3News Cleveland:

“They’re not playing like thugs, so I believe him when he said they’re playing like ‘slugs.’ Stop being so sensitive. I grew up in the 80s. I got called worse than ‘slugs’ [or ‘thugs’], trust me. So it [doesn’t] bother me.”

Kenny Smith agreed with O’Neal, and added that the roster is diverse.

Next is what Charles Barkley has to say about Beilein:

“Everybody knows everybody in basketball, I’ve never heard a bad word about him. And what makes me mad about this whole conversation is he says in his apology, ‘the coaches told me later that I said ‘thugs’ instead of ‘slugs.’”

The panel also took issue with the team complaining about the coach making them watch the film and work too hard, feel that it’s “starting to be a joke,” as Barkley said.

O’Neal thinks this is all a move to try and get Beilein dropped from the organization.

Click here to read more.


Article Courtesy of WKYC 3News Cleveland

First Picture Courtesy of Jason Miller and Getty Images

Second Picture Courtesy of Dave Reginek and Getty Images

Video Courtesy of TNT, NBA, YouTube, and WKYC 3News Cleveland

SPORTS: Shaq and Barkley React to How the Cavs Are Handling Thug-Gate  was originally published on