July 13, 2024

J.B. Bickerstaff, the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was relieved of his duties on Thursday, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The decision came after the Cavs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Bickerstaff had been coaching the Cavs since 2020, guiding the team to a semifinals appearance and winning 99 regular season games over the past two seasons. According to Wojnarowski, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman and GM Mike Gansey will begin to compile a list of potential candidates for the coaching position, with Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson being one to watch, given his previous success coaching players like Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert with the Nets.

Cavaliers fire coach J.B. Bickerstaff despite some progress and getting to  second round of playoffs - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Koby Altman, the President of the Cavs, also commented on Bickerstaff’s departure, acknowledging his contributions to the team’s culture and player development.

“J.B. is a highly respected NBA coach and a remarkable individual,” said Altman. “During his four years with us, he played a pivotal role in establishing a culture that encouraged players to strive for excellence. These decisions are always difficult, especially considering the progress our franchise has made under his leadership. However, the nature of the NBA sometimes necessitates bold moves to propel a team forward and contend for championships. We are immensely grateful for J.B.’s contributions to the Cavaliers and his involvement in the Cleveland community. We extend our best wishes to J.B., his wife Nikki, and their three children in their future endeavors.”

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