Marcus Morris Says There Was A Disconnect Between Cavaliers Players And JB Bickerstaff

NBA veteran Marcus Morris said on “Run It Back” that there was a disconnect between Cleveland Cavaliers players and head coach JB Bickerstaff.

The Cavaliers fired Bickerstaff yesterday (5/23).

Morris joined the Cavaliers in March. He appeared in 12 games during the regular season and nine games in the playoffs. 

Bickerstaff went 170-159 in the regular season and 6-11 in the postseason with the Cavaliers, who lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of this year’s playoffs in five games.

According to NBA reporter Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell was aggravated by some of Bickerstaff’s tactics and strategies.

“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.

“I heard complaints that Bickerstaff was too hands on, that he wanted to be in control of everything at practices and shootarounds. 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.”

Mitchell 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.

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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