Former Michigan basketball coach John Beilein made the surprising decision to leave the Wolverines basketball program to become head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 66-year-old Beilein has never coached in the NBA.
While this will be his first rodeo at the professional level, Beilein is seen as one of the best offensive minds in all of basketball – not just the collegiate level.
However, to give himself every opportunity to succeed in the NBA, Beilein must hire an experienced staff to help him bring the Cavaliers along.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Beilein took a step in that direction this week by hiring JB Bickerstaff.
Cleveland has hired JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Bickerstaff was a target of several teams, but Cavs were determined to pair him with John Beilein and made him one of league’s top paid assistants.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 19, 2019
Bickerstaff previously interviewed with the Cavs and Los Angeles Lakers for their head coaching vacancies this offseason.
Bickerstaff went 48-97 in one-plus seasons in Memphis, but was fired after failing to make the playoffs for the second-consecutive season.
He originally took over as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach in November 2017 after the firing of David Fizdale.
Bickerstaff also compiled a 37-34 record as interim head coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2015-16 season.
Beilein added a coach with significant NBA experience to aid him in his transition to the NBA.
We’ll have to wait and see if he can turn the Cavs around.