‘We Continue To See Innovative And Strategic Examples Of His Impact’ | Cavs Reward J.B. Bickerstaff With Multi-Year Extension

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a surprising 19-13 and currently the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re only three games behind No. 1 Brooklyn, and that’s a huge credit to the leadership and culture change being led by head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

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To put Bickerstaff’s amazing work into perspective, Cleveland won just 22 games all of last season. Bickerstaff is deserving of the new multi-year deal that will keep him around until 2026-27.

The Cavs have stability at the top for the next half decade, which is important when rebuilding a past champion. 

Cavs GM Koby Altman is extremely high on his 42-year old head coach and expressed this to Yahoo Sports: 

“J.B. Bickerstaff is, with all certainty, the right head coach to lead this franchise into what we believe is a very promising future. The decision to extend J.B. is not based solely on the early success of this season, but rather a body of work since his arrival to Cleveland. His leadership style, coaching experience and commitment to player development has instilled a growing confidence that resonates across our entire organization. We continue to see innovative and strategic examples of his impact on this roster, coupled by his unique ability to build upon a culture that leads to sustainable success.”

Development Of Young Nucleus

The Cavs have drafted well in recent seasons, adding the likes of Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro. They also made some quality trades in landing Jarrett Allen from the Nets. That young nucleus, along with veterans such as Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, have transformed the Cavs into a team to be taken seriously. 

Rubio and Love bring leadership and a veteran savvy that’s needed on a roster with so many young players. The way Bickerstaff has used his lineups has been brilliant. 

Garland is the catalyst and he’s been playing like the floor leader the Cavs envisioned when they drafted the elite talent out of Vanderbilt.

The Culture Change Has The Cavs And Their Fans Believing

With the exception of the LeBron James years (2003-2010 and 2014-2018) the Cavs have been a doormat to other teams in the league. 

That seems to be changing under Bickerstaff. The team’s 22-win season last year wasn’t great, but when examining reasons to be positive Cleveland did have wins against some of the league’s best teams in Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami, Utah and Phoenix.  Those games gave hints that Cleveland could compete with the league’s upper echelon. 

This season, they’re winning games shorthanded and at full strength against some of the league’s better teams. Just another sign of the culture change.

In 2020, after Bickerstaff was made the head coach he outlined the culture as a two-fold process that covered on-court and off-court. His methods are working and the development is obvious. 

The future seems bright in Cleveland with a coach who knows how to lead and a young nucleus getting better every time they take the floor. Smile Cleveland fans, there is life after LeBron James.

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