Report: Coach Beilein Wants Darius Garland to Take Charge as Team Leader of Cavs

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Prior to the start of the NBA season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein thought of the team’s leadership as a collective undertaking.

But during the Cavs’ morning shootaround on Wednesday, Beilein declared that he wants guard Darius Garland to act as the team’s leader.

“It’s a lot to ask of him, but to take charge of the team as a leader,” Beilein said about what he expects from the rookie in his first game as a pro. “In football, you have a quarterback and if he goes into the huddle and he’s not strong with his presence then everyone is affected by that. He can do that. He did it four or five games in college and now we’re expecting him to do it in the NBA.”

Expecting Garland to lead a franchise with several veterans seems a bit much for the 19-year old, who barely played college basketball. The Vanderbilt University product played only four full games as a freshman before a torn meniscus kept him from playing most of his fifth game. He didn’t play again the rest of the season.

“I have a big chip on my shoulder because I only played five games, but I’m not really worried about publicity and status and all that stuff,” Garland said. “I just come to play.”

His single college season, however, was enough to convince Cavs management to take him with the fifth pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.

As good as he was in college, the pros will test Garland as he has never been tested before. The pressure is greater now that Beilein wants him to quarterback the team.

If the preseason is any indication, it looks as though Garland is more than up to the challenge. His presence on the floor created easy scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates, something that a leader is supposed to do.

Though Beilein hasn’t revealed his starting lineup just yet, everything seems set up for Garland to be the lead guard for the Wine and Gold. After all, team leaders rarely ever come off the bench.

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Omar is a former staff writer with the King James Gospel. He is a Cavaliers fan who has followed the team from the Mark Price-led 1980s team to the LeBron era. Omar applauded the King's return to the Land and celebrated the team's first championship in 2016. He has pledged to defend the Land every chance he gets.