Report: Cavaliers hiring Cal women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb as assistant

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

The Cavaliers made longtime college coach John Beilein, who had no NBA experience, their head coach. In a typical follow-up, they hired a former NBA head coach – J.B. Bickerstaff – as an assistant.

Now comes a very unconventional addition to the coaching staff.

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Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:


Lindsay Gottlieb had a highly successful run at Cal. In her eight seasons, the Golden Bears produced an average record of 22-11 and reached the 2013 Final Four. She’s known for her Xs and Os and connecting with her players.

But the jump from women’s college basketball to the NBA is large. She must adjust to players who are far more athletic and, with multi-million-dollar contracts, carry far more power. The style of game is significantly different. The dynamic between coaches and players is significantly different.

Though they’re taking a risk with this atypical hire, the Cavs also get upside with it. Teams should be more open to untraditional job candidates. Expanding the pool of candidates increases the likelihood of finding someone who’ll do the job well.

Few teams would have even considered a college women’s basketball head coach. Cleveland did, deemed Gottlieb worthy then poached her.

It’s definitely an interesting decision for both sides.

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