Report: Cavs hire J.B. Bickerstaff to be associate head coach

Bickerstaff coached the Grizzlies last season

James Rapien
May 19, 2019 - 2:43 pm
Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff yells from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cavaliers hired J.B. Bickerstaff to be associate head coach according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Bickerstaff, 40, was head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies last season. 

The Cavaliers wanted to put experienced coaches around new head coach John Beilein, who has never coached in the NBA. Bickerstaff coached Memphis for two seasons, posting a 33-49 mark last year. 

He also replaced Kevin McHale as head coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2015-2016 season. The team went 37-34 under Bickerstaff and lost in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. 

Bickerstaff talked to multiple teams including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings. Wojnarowski also reports Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman convinced him being in Cleveland and working with Beilein was the best situation for him. Bickerstaff has an 85-131 overall record in three seasons as a head coach.

He's the son of former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who's a Senior Basketball Advisor in the Cavaliers' front office.