After stunning his players in a film session Wednesday with a verbal suggestion that they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs,” Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein later reached out to players individually to insist he instead meant to use the word “slugs.”

His botched the delivery, however, telling his group of mainly black players that they no longer were playing “like a bunch of thugs.”

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Beilein later told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he meant to say “slugs,” not “thugs.”

Cavs players were “initially stunned,” Wojnarowski reported, citing sources, but “increasingly disturbed as they dispersed out of the meeting.” 

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