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#pounditSaturday, October 16, 2021

Articles tagged: JB Bickerstaff

JB Bickerstaff reacts to criticism of handling of Andre Drummond

JB Bickerstaff

Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff is taking a measured approach to a wave of criticism over his team’s handling of center Andre Drummond.

The Cavaliers have decided not to play Drummond while the team tries to trade the veteran center, who is in the final year of his contract. This event inspired Draymond Green to criticize a double standard where he feels teams can get away with behavior that individual players cannot, a stance backed by LeBron James.

Bickerstaff refused to criticize Green for the remarks, instead taking the criticism in stride.

“Nobody’s opinion should be muted,” Bickerstaff said Wednesday, via ESPN. “Obviously there’s conversations that we’ve had with our guys as far as this process goes that everybody’s not privy to. But again, guys have a right to speak their voice and organizations have to do what’s best for the organization. I think that’s kind of how it works and it shouldn’t be a two-way street, so to speak.”

Bickerstaff also praised Drummond for his professionalism in handling the situation.

Bickerstaff is in an awkward spot here, as he doesn’t want to come off as opposing the players. As he said, we don’t really have a perfect idea of how the Cavaliers have handled this internally.

One thing is for sure: Cleveland will have a hard time dealing Drummond if this is what most teams think of him.

Kevin Love likely to stay with Cavs because of new coach?

Kevin Love

Kevin Love was infamously discontent with the state of affairs in Cleveland this season, but next season could prove to be a very different story for him.

In a feature this week, Chris Fedor of noted that the former All-Star big man has a “phenomenal” relationship with new Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff, who previously coached Love as an assistant for the Minnesta Timberwolves. Fedor states that Bickerstaff will have a better idea of how to keep Love “happy and engaged” and that “enough has changed” since his desire to be traded that Love won’t force a move out of Cleveland.

Love, who is about to turn 32, has two years and $60.2 million left on his deal with the Cavs. He was openly unhappy and confrontational with the team this season, which proved to be yet another losing one for Cleveland.

Some even suggested that Love might have sabotaged coach John Beilein, but the team’s decision to fire Beilein and replace him with Bickerstaff might be enough to keep Love around for the time being.

Cavs sign head coach JB Bickerstaff to multi-year extension

JB Bickerstaff

All indications when JB Bickerstaff took over as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers last month were that he was not doing so on an interim basis, and the team has now confirmed that.

The Cavs have signed Bickerstaff to a multi-year extension, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic reports.

Bickerstaff had previously taken over as the interim head coach of the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies, so he had plenty of experience in the role. The Cavs had reportedly planned to make him their head coach eventually, but the plan came to fruition much earlier than expected after John Beilein stepped down.

Beilein was a bad fit in Cleveland from the start, as his college ways simply did not transition to the NBA. He was unable to connect with his players all season, and the situation reached a boiling point when he referred to them as “thugs” — something he apologized for and said was inadvertent. Bickerstaff has more experience in the NBA, so it is no surprise that the Cavs see him as better suited for the job going forward.

JB Bickerstaff is Cavaliers’ head coach, not on an interim basis

JB Bickerstaff

JB Bickerstaff has taken over as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach, and it’s not on an interim basis.

John Beilein officially resigned as the Cavs’ head coach on Wednesday. Reports first emerged on Sunday night saying that Beilein and the Cavs were talking about a buyout that would lead to him stepping down, and that became official this week.

Bickerstaff, who previously took over two coaching jobs on an interim basis during the season (Houston and Memphis), was always expected to take over. But what is interesting is that Bickerstaff is taking over as head coach — not on an interim basis. That’s what’s Chris Fedor says.

Fedor says Bickerstaff taking over as head coach in Beilein’s place was always part of the plan. The plan just came to fruition much earlier than anyone really expected.

Fedor wrote a long article that talked about how the Cavs got to the point that Beilein was stepping down during the All-Star break. The main takeaway is that Beilein was a bad fit from the start, and his college ways just didn’t work in the NBA.

Beilein’s fundamentals-first approach was not a good fit for the NBA, and he caused further issues for himself when he inadvertently referred to his players as “thugs.” Though he will remain with the organization for now, a return to college could be a possibility once the season ends and jobs open up at that level.

We have suggested some possible college jobs he could want.

JB Bickerstaff expected to replace John Beilein as Cavs head coach

JB Bickerstaff

The Cleveland Cavaliers and John Beilein are working on a buyout agreement that would end the coach’s time as the Cavs head coach, and J.B. Bickerstaff is expected to become the new interim head coach, according to reports.

There has been talk since Sunday night’s All-Star Game that Beilein was considering stepping down as the Cavs’ coach during the All-Star Break. The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the two sides are in advanced buyout talks that are expected to commence by Wednesday, and possibly later on Tuesday.

Bickerstaff, who has served as an interim head coach twice previously during his career, is expected to take over, according to numerous reports.

Bickerstaff served as an interim head coach in Memphis and Houston previously and is likely to be the Cavs’ coach when they hold practice on Wednesday.

The Cavaliers are 14-40 and entered the All-Star break with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. This is Beilein’s first season as an NBA head coach after his successful stint at Michigan.

There have been talks about issues with Beilein working as an NBA coach since December. A report at the time said players did not like the way Beilein was operating the team like a college program. There was another moment when Beilein received negative publicity in January when he inadvertently called his players “thugs” instead of “slugs.”

Cavs hire JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach

JB Bickerstaff

JB Bickerstaff was fired as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies this year following a 33-49 season, but he was not unemployed for very long.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have hired Bickerstaff to join new head coach John Beilein’s staff. Wojnarowski also notes that Bickerstaff drew interest from several prominent teams for assistant coaching roles, but he was intrigued by the idea of helping Beilein adjust to the NBA.

Bickerstaff was an associate head coach with the Grizzlies before being promoted to head coach in 2017. He was an assistant coach and interim head coach for the Houston Rockets prior to that.

Unlike Bickerstaff, Beilein has no prior experience coaching in the NBA. Bickerstaff should be a valuable asset for a 66-year-old coach making the transition to the pros.

Grizzlies fire coach JB Bickerstaff, shake up front office

JB Bickerstaff

The Memphis Grizzlies missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season this year, and they are making some major changes within their organization because of it.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Grizzlies fired head coach JB Bickerstaff on Friday. They also made several changes in their front office.

Bickerstaff took over for the Grizzlies after they fired David Fizdale 19 games into last season. He won just 48 games in almost two full seasons in Memphis.

It was obvious before Fizdale was fired that the problems with the Grizzlies ran deeper than just the head coach, and the team is clearly trying to hit the reset button now after trading Marc Gasol. A new head coach will help with that process.

JB Bickerstaff has words for official after being ejected

JB Bickerstaff

JB Bickerstaff had words for official Marc Davis after being ejected from Wednesday’s Memphis Grizzlies-Utah Jazz game.

Bickerstaff was called for two technical fouls in the fourth quarter of the game, including one for telling one of his players to ignore Davis.

Bickerstaff was then tossed after his second tech. According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones, Bickerstaff told Davis he would be waiting for him after the game.

The Memphis fans were not happy about their head coach being ejected and apparently let Davis know it:

The Grizzlies ended up losing to the Jazz 92-88.

Grizzlies hire JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach


The staff of new Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale is quickly beginning to come together.

According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Thursday, Memphis has hired former Rockets interim coach JB Bickerstaff to serve as their associate head coach under Fizdale. The Lakers were also said to be one of the teams interested in Bickerstaff’s services.

The 37-year-old Bickerstaff, the son of former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, has served as an assistant coach in the league since 2004. He was promoted to interim coach of the Rockets after Kevin McHale’s firing last November. Bickerstaff led the team to a 37-34 record and a playoff berth, but they fell to the Golden State Warriors in the first round after just five games.

Bickerstaff earned a bit of a reputation as an outspoken personality during his time at the helm in Houston. But he was otherwise uninspiring as a leader and as an Xs and Os guy, and the Rockets chose to hire Mike D’Antoni as their next head coach instead of promoting Bickerstaff to full-time duties. Perhaps this return to an assistant coaching capacity is the right move for him.

JB Bickerstaff defends Dwight Howard against ‘disinterested’ talk

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard was labeled by some as “disinterested” during the Houston Rockets’ Game 2 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, but interim head coach JB Bickerstaff was having none of that talk.

Responding to a question about Dwight after the game, Bickerstaff said disinterest was not an issue for Howard.

“No, I don’t think he was disinterested,” Bickerstaff said. “I thought he was good on the glass. I thought he was running. Give Andrew Bogut some credit, he does a good job with his size. He’s physical, uses his length, he pushes, he grabs, he holds, so I wouldn’t say he was disinterested.”

Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds, but he fouled out in the fourth quarter and only played 35 minutes. I actually thought he showed some nice low post moves (my tweet was sarcastic):

Maybe Bickerstaff’s right — Howard isn’t disinterested — Bogut and the Warriors should be credited for being so good defensively. And the Rockets’ problems extend far beyond Howard; it also has a lot to do with James Harden.