Cavaliers ‘fire head coach JB Bickerstaff’ following NBA playoff defeat by the Boston Celtics

The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired coach JB Bickerstaff, according to reports.

The 45-year-old led Cleveland to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons but both runs ended before the finals.

The Cavaliers were recently beaten by the Celtics in the conference semifinals, losing 4-1 to Boston.

And on Thursday, ESPN reported that Cleveland has decided to dismiss Bickerstaff in the hope that a new coach can take them closer to a second championship.

The Cavaliers’ one and only NBA finals win came in 2016. They have not won either a conference title or a division title since 2018.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly fired coach JB Bickerstaff after their loss to Boston

Earlier this week, it was reported that Bickerstaff and his assistant coaches were still being evaluated, with no promises they would be back with the Cavs next season.

Back-to-back playoff appearances and a first-round series win over the Orlando Magic in seven games worked in Bickerstaff’s favor and he said Cleveland is where he hopes to be going forward.

Asked after the season-ending loss at Boston on Wednesday if he expects to coach the Cavaliers next season, Bickerstaff said: ‘I mean, no one’s told me I’m not. So, I’ll keep showing up ’til they tell me not to.’

The Cavaliers were recently beaten by the Boston Celtics in the NBA conference semifinals

The Cavaliers were recently beaten by the Boston Celtics in the NBA conference semifinals

Bickerstaff, 45, had a 170-159 record in four-plus seasons with the Cavaliers. His playoff record in Cleveland was 6-11.

There are roster decisions to be made before the end of June, including regarding All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who has one season left on his contract and a player option for 2025-26. 

He’s eligible to sign a four-year deal worth more than $200 million this offseason if he opts to commit to staying in Cleveland.

Mitchell, 27, averaged 26.6 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in the regular season. He didn’t play in Game 4 or Game 5 of the playoff series against the Celtics because of a calf injury.