Sad News: Bickerstaff head coach of Cleveland Cavaliers just announced his departure due to……

Cavaliers fire coach J.B. Bickerstaff despite back-to-back playoff  appearances and steady progress | AP News


CLEVELAND (AP) — Even though J.B. Bickerstaff prevailed, he was fired.

Through some difficult seasons, he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers return to the postseason and advance farther than they had in the past thirty years without LeBron James playing for them.

It was insufficient.

Despite the Cavs improving in each of Bickerstaff’s four seasons and surviving many injuries this year to advance to the second round of the playoffs, Bickerstaff was fired on Thursday as Cleveland’s coach.

His firing occurred one week after the Cavs, without All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell or center Jarrett Allen for the final two games of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Celtics.

Although Bickerstaff was effective, it appears that other problems prompted Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and president of basketball operations Koby Altman to take an action that, on the surface, could appear drastic or even unjust.

The Cavaliers, who are aiming to sign Mitchell to a long-term contract deal, may make big moves this summer in response to the coaching change, though they will still be dependent on James’s final decision.

James, who has the option to leave the Lakers, was present for Cleveland’s final home playoff game, sparking rumors that he may make a comeback and play a third stint with the Cavaliers — possibly as a farewell performance.

That is beyond that.

The Cavs have started looking for Bickerstaff’s short-term replacement.

In a statement, Altman stated, “J.B. is a terrific human being and a well-respected NBA coach.” “During the previous four years, he played a key role in creating a culture that gradually inspired players to reach their full potential. Making such decisions is never simple, especially when you consider how this franchise reconstruction began under his direction.

“The NBA is a unique business; in order to advance a club and eventually contend for championships, it sometimes demands extreme risk-taking.”

On Friday, Altman will be available to the media.

Interviews with applicants with prior NBA head coaching experience as well as possibly some elite assistants are anticipated by the Cavaliers. They must hope that this search goes more smoothly than the last one, in which they hired John Beilein of Michigan, who left before the 2019 All-Star break and was replaced by Bickerstaff.

Bickerstaff had shortcomings even though he was recognized for creating a robust culture.

He found it difficult to make changes in-game. The Cavaliers boast one of the strongest young cores of players in the game in Mitchell, Allen, and guard Darius Garland, but there is a strong feeling that Garland and Evan Mobley should have had more development. His offense was also frequently stagnant.

However, Bickerstaff guided the team around a number of ailments. Cleveland was 18-2 sans Garland (broken jaw) and Mobley (knee surgery), who missed six weeks of action. And even without Mitchell and Allen (who injured his ribs in the first round), the Cavs battled hard against the Celtics before dropping the series in five games.

Considering what Bickerstaff accomplished, the league was surprised to hear of his dismissal.

Before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston, Indiana coach Rick Carlisle remarked, “I think J.B. Bickerstaff did an incredible job.” “There, there was a total cultural transformation. He was creative. They have been playing huge for 4 and a half years. Many were asking themselves, “Huh? How on earth is this going to function?

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