Thursday morning the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped JB Bickerstaff as their head coach. JB had an uphill battle after falling in the playoffs two years straight. The Cavs have had an All-Star roster built for winning, yet never managed to get a top seed. Injuries obviously played a role in how things panned out this year, but come on, every team deals with injuries. The loss to Boston could be considered an exception after losing Mitchell, without him we had no chance.

So, what inspired this change? Lack of progression would be my thoughts. The East was wide open 2-6, but only was able to get a 4th seed this year. Would they have faired better against the Pacers? By the look of things, probably not. But that’s the point, we need a coach to spark some life into this city, team and roster.

Who are the favorites to replace JB? According to the Athletic, Kenny Atkinson from the Warriors and James Borrego from the Pelicans are the leading candidates. Let’s look at who these coaches are.

Kenny Atkinson, turning 57 years old in June, has bounced around the league as a coach since gaining his first role with the Knicks Under Mike D’Antoni as an assistant. He was there four years, went to Atlanta for three and got his first head coaching job for the Brooklyn Nets. In four years there, he only posted a winning percentage once. After being fired in 2020, he joined the Clippers for one year and has been an assistant for the Warriors ever since. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about whether or not he is a good fit.

James Borrego, a bit younger than Kenny at 46 years old, started his coaching career professionally with the San Antonio Spurs. He has spent many years there learning under the legend Greg Popovich, left in 2010 and spent time with the (then) New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic before ending back up in San Antonio. He got his first head coaching gig with the Charlotte Hornets for four seasons in 2018, also only earning one winning season his last year and ultimately got let go. He spent this last year with the Pelicans as an assistant. (This choice would be very intriguing if the Brandon Ingram rumors get rolling)

Both coaches have spent their time in the league as assistants and each spent four years as a head coach. If I had a choice between the two, I would suggest the latter. The time spent with Greg Popovich must pay off at some point.

Who knows, maybe that happens with our Cavs?

Only time will tell.

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