NBA Playoff Team Fires Head Coach: Report

By Jason Hall

May 23, 2024

Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets
Photo: Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff days after being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday (May 23).

"ESPN Sources: The Cleveland Cavaliers dismissed coach JB Bickerstaff on Thursday. Bickerstaff led Cavs to conference semifinals and won 99 regular-season games in past two years, but change comes with hope of advancing deeper," Wojnarowski wrote on his X account.

Bickerstaff, 45, the son of former NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who currently works as the Senior Basketball Advisor for the Cavaliers, was promoted from assistant/associate head coach in 2020 following the resignation of John Beilein late in the 2019-20 season and led Cleveland to a 170-159 record in five seasons.

Cleveland was the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference following a 48-34 finish during the 2023-24 NBA regular season and defeated the Orlando Magic in a seven-game opening-round series. The Celtics defeated the Cavs in five games during the conference semifinals, which included All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and center Jarrett Allen both missing the final two games of the series.

Cleveland reportedly wants "a fresh now," which led to its decision to part ways with Bickerstaff, according to Wojnarowski.

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