Report: JB Bickerstaff Was Too Hands On, Wanted To Control Everything At Practices And Shootarounds

According to NBA reporter Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff was too hands on. 

Bickerstaff reportedly wanted to be in control of everything at practices and shootarounds.

Cleveland fired Bickerstaff on Thursday (5/23). 

“I heard complaints that Bickerstaff was too hands on, that he wanted to be in control of everything at practices and shootarounds,” Lloyd wrote. “Players grumbled about playing time, either too much or too little. Again, all fairly ordinary and pedantic. The most damning criticism, and one that sticks, is the second-half fade most of his teams here experienced. Injuries can be blamed for part of it, but he has to wear that one.”

Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell was aggravated by some of Bickerstaff’s tactics and strategies.

Mitchell, one of the best players in the NBA, is under contract for next season and has a $37 million player option for 2025-26. He is eligible to sign a four-year, $208 million extension this summer.

“Yes, Donovan Mitchell was one of those aggravated by some of Bickerstaff’s tactics and strategies,” Lloyd wrote. “He wasn’t alone, but a locker room follows its star. If Mitchell had Bickerstaff’s back, everyone else would fall in line. When he didn’t, the others fell into that line, too.”

Mitchell averaged 26.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists this season while shooting 46.2% from the field, 36.8% from beyond the arc and 86.5% from the free-throw line.

Bickerstaff went 170-159 in the regular season and 6-11 in the postseason with the Cavaliers. 

Cleveland beat the Orlando Magic in the first round of this year’s playoffs in seven games but lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round in five games. 

Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego are considered leading candidates to become the next head coach of the Cavaliers. 

Atkinson coached the Brooklyn Nets and went 118-170 in the regular season and 1-4 in the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, Borrego is 148-183 with the Magic and Charlotte Hornets.

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