Report: Cavs Interested in Former Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are continuing to consider candidates to replace Larry Drew as the team’s head coach. One new report indicate that the latest addition to this list is former Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who was fired on April 11 after two seasons at the helm.

Drew and the Cavaliers mutually agreed on his departure on the same day as Bickerstaff’s dismissal. A report earlier this week indicated that the Cavs are taking a slow approach to this coaching search, with numerous names already looked at and more to come as playoff teams are eliminated.

Bickerstaff, the son of longtime NBA assistant Bernie Bickerstaff, had completed his first full season as the Grizzlies’ head coach. He had been appointed to that position on Nov. 27, 2017, and compiled a 15-48 record over the remainder of that campaign. This past season, the Grizzlies ended the year with a 33-49 record, finishing third in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference.

Prior to that promotion, Bickerstaff was in his second year of serving as the Grizzlies’ associate head coach. He had come to the team after serving as interim head coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2015-16 season. In his 71 games, the Rockets went 37-34 and reached the postseason, but lost their first round series in five games.

Bickerstaff had begun his NBA coaching career in 2004 with Charlotte. After three seasons there, he moved on to Minnesota for the next four years before taking an assistant coaching job at Houston in 2011. He was hired for that job by then-Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who he replaced after just 11 games in 2015.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.