The Los Angeles Lakers have found their next head coach in Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton. Now, their focus has shifted on finding a coaching staff for their new lead man.
It was reported earlier today by the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Walton’s top choice to join his sideline is former Lakers player and assistant Brian Shaw. Now, a second candidate for the coaching staff has officially emerged.
Woj has also reported that J.B. Bickerstaff has withdrawn his name from contention for the Houston Rockets’ head coaching position. Bickerstaff coached the team for the majority of the season after Kevin McHale was fired and was able to barely reach the postseason before being eliminated by Walton’s Warriors. Bickerstaff was thought to be one of the main candidates for the long-term job but it appears he is unwilling to coach the team.
ESPN’s Rockets beat-writer Calvin Watkins is reporting that if JBB has indeed withdrawn his name from consideration, he may consider a move to LA to become a part of the revamped coaching staff. According to Watkins, Bickerstaff and Walton have a friendly relationship.
JBB also has a relationship with the Lakers through his father Bernie who may or may not be the greatest coach in LAL history. (The elder Bickerstaff led the Lakers to a 4-1 record while serving as an interim between head coaches Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni.)
The younger Bickerstaff did not prove to be a great coach in his time in Houston. However, he was thrust into a bad situation with players that seemed to be busy quarreling or not caring at all. JBB is still young and has room to grow. He could be a high-potential assistant in LA should he choose to make the move.