Grizzlies hire JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach
The staff of new Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale is quickly beginning to come together.
According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Thursday, Memphis has hired former Rockets interim coach JB Bickerstaff to serve as their associate head coach under Fizdale. The Lakers were also said to be one of the teams interested in Bickerstaff’s services.
Sources: Memphis has reached agreement with JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach. Lakers were among teams pursuing him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 2, 2016
The 37-year-old Bickerstaff, the son of former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, has served as an assistant coach in the league since 2004. He was promoted to interim coach of the Rockets after Kevin McHale’s firing last November. Bickerstaff led the team to a 37-34 record and a playoff berth, but they fell to the Golden State Warriors in the first round after just five games.
Bickerstaff earned a bit of a reputation as an outspoken personality during his time at the helm in Houston. But he was otherwise uninspiring as a leader and as an Xs and Os guy, and the Rockets chose to hire Mike D’Antoni as their next head coach instead of promoting Bickerstaff to full-time duties. Perhaps this return to an assistant coaching capacity is the right move for him.