Cavaliers Fire Coach J.B. Bickerstaff After Five Seasons

The Cavaliers recently played their first Eastern Conference semifinals in six seasons, but they decided to fire coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Thursday.

In 2020, Bickerstaff stepped in as interim coach and led the team to a 170-159 record. This season, they reached the fourth seed with a 48-34 mark and even won against Orlando Magic in the playoffs’ opening round.

Challenges with Injuries:

Unfortunately, injuries plagued the team. Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen missed crucial games in their semifinal matchup against the Celtics. ESPN reported that Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen only played together for 28 games this season.

“Sorry to say it – I just think his time just ran out,” Marcus Morris commented about Bickerstaff. “Good dude on and off the court, great organization. It’s more so bringing in a fresh voice.”

Leadership Changes:

Bickerstaff may not have taken the Cavs to LeBron-era heights, but he’s been their best coach since then. Yet, Koby Altman and Mike Gansey seem ready for a new direction.

Despite Cleveland’s progress over recent years, insiders like Joe Vardon and Shams Charania noted that Bickerstaff’s job was “in serious jeopardy” after losing Game 5 against Boston.

We all need change sometimes.

Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned that Cleveland’s front office plans many discussions about how to move forward this summer.

“Cavaliers plan to take time to evaluate coach JB Bickerstaff’s future,” he said last week. “The organization remains fond of him but will explore different ways forward.”

Bickerstaff’s Wishes:

Even though rumors swirled about his firing, Bickerstaff expressed his desire to stay with Cleveland last week.

“We’ve built this thing right,” he said. “Every year we’ve improved—play-in tournaments, playoffs wins… players getting better.”

When asked directly about being let go: “This is definitely a place I want to be,” he affirmed. “No one’s told me otherwise yet.”

Future Uncertainties:

Now Cleveland must decide what happens if Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland don’t renew their contracts with them next season. Still optimistic about the future:

“We take leaps every year,” Garland shared hopefully. “Hopefully next year we reach Eastern Conference finals fully healthy.”

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

Related NBA News