Cavaliers hire former Grizzlies coach JB Bickerstaff

J.B. Bickerstaff has joined the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff. (Doug McSchooler/AP)

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have added former Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff to John Beilein’s staff as an associate head coach.

Bickerstaff was a candidate for Cleveland’s opening and interviewed for the job before the Cavs lured Beilein from Michigan after a successful 12-year run. Bickerstaff was fired in April by Memphis following a 33-49 season.

Bickerstaff’s father, Bernie, is a senior adviser with the Cavs.

Cleveland general manager Koby Altman wanted someone with NBA experience to help Beilein, who has never coached in the pros. Altman said Bickerstaff’s approach is "exactly the kind of perspective, commitment and integrity we want for the culture and growth we will drive here."

Beilein says it was a "very easy decision" to add Bickerstaff, who also served as an interim head coach with Houston before going to Memphis. Beilein says he and Bickerstaff "share many of the same core values, principles and views about coaching basketball and team culture."

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