Cleveland has fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after five seasons

J.B. Bickerstaff Cavs pic
J.B. Bickerstaff Cavs pic

In the 2023-24 season, Cleveland finished 4th in the East with a 48-34 record. They had a matchup in the first round vs. a young Orlando Magic squad. It took the Cavaliers seven games but beat the Magic to advance to the Conference semi-finals. This was Cleveland’s first series win in 31 years that LeBron James was not a part of. 

Next up for the Cavs was the #1 seed in the East, the Boston Celtics. It was going to take a tremendous amount of effort for Cleveland to win that series. Especially with the team missing Donovan Mitchell in Games 4 and 5. Cleveland was able to steal Game 2 in Boston, but they lost four of the first five to lose the series. Today, the team parted ways with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after five seasons. Who will replace him in Cleveland?

J.B. Bickerstaff has been fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers

This is not the first time that J.B. Bickerstaff has been fired as a head coach. Before his time with the Cavaliers, he spent one season as coach of the Rockets and two with the Grizzlies. He was fired from both jobs. Bickerstaff now adds Cleveland to the list. The 45-year-old got his start with the Cavs in 2019-20 as an assistant head coach. Near the end of that season, the team parted ways with head coach John Beilein after just 54 games. J.B. Bickerstaff was then hired as the interim head coach.

That offseason, the Cavs promoted Bickerstaff to full-time head coach. Over his next four seasons, he led Cleveland to two play appearances and one playoff series win. Despite a winning record in each of his last three seasons, the team felt he was not the right fit moving forward. In five seasons, Bickerstaff went 170-159 as head coach of the Cavs. He was 6-11 in the postseason. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Kenny Atkinson and James Barego are among the top candidates to be the Cavs’ new head coach.

Firing J.B., Bickerstaff might have been a long-term move for the Cavs. It was well-known around the league that Cleveland’s superstar guard Donovan Mitchell grew weary of Bickerstaff. Mitchell felt he was not getting the most of out his team. Without Mitchell, the Cavs are not real contenders in the East. Additionally, the team wants to resign Mitchell this offseason. There’s a chance for Mitchell to do that now that Bickerstaff is gone.

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