J.B. Bickerstaff says he and his family have received threats over lost bets and parlays

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that he has received threats over lost bets and parlays over the last two seasons.

Bickerstaff also shared that people have found his phone number and called him to threaten him.

It’s certainly a scary situation for the Cavs head coach, as some gamblers are clearly taking things too far when their bets don’t hit.

Bickerstaff has been the Cavs’ head coach since the the end of the 2019-20 season when he took over for John Beilein who resigned during his first season leading the Cavs.

During the 2019-20 campaign, Bickerstaff led the Cavs to a 5-6 record, and he’s since turned the team into a playoff contender.

The Cavs nearly broke into the playoffs in the 2021-22 season, winning 44 games in the regular season, but the team came up short in the NBA’s play-in tournament and ended up missing the postseason.

Last season, Cleveland earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the first time it had made the playoffs since LeBron James left the franchise to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. While the Cavs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the team has not regressed in the 2023-24 season.

Cleveland is 43-25 so far this season and holds the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

For the most part, the Cavs have been on the winning side of games, and the team has a respectable record against the spread, going 34-32-2 this season, according to TeamRankings.com.

With sports betting now legal in many locations across the United States, athletes and coaches are subject to even more scrutiny now that people are wagering their hard-earned money on sporting events.

Still, that is no excuse to threaten a player or coach, and it’s unfortunate that Bickerstaff has had to experience that in the last two seasons.

Hopefully, the Cavs can finish out the season strong to give their fans another playoff run to look forward to and keep gamblers from being frustrated with the team’s performance.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.