The Memphis Grizzlies have hired J.B. Bickerstaff as the associate head coach on David Fizdale’s staff, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Woj reiterates reports that the Los Angeles Lakers were among teams trying to hire Bickerstaff.
Bickerstaff was the interim head coach for the Houston Rockets after Kevin McHale was fired early last season. In his time in Houston, Bickerstaff led the team to a 37-34 record. While the Rockets had a disappointing season, their interim head coach showed signs of being able to get some success out of a poor situation.
For the Lakers, this means that another of their top targets to round up new head coach Luke Walton’s staff is taken away. The team has already hired Brian Shaw as the associate head coach, but will look to keep adding experience around Walton as he begins his first full-time head coaching gig.
Most known targets for more assistant jobs in LA have already been hired, but there are still a few options available. Notably, Walton may be able to steal away Warriors’ assistant Jarron Collins. Magic assistant Adrian Griffin may also be available with the coaching change in Orlando, although previous reports have pointed to Griffin staying to work under Frank Vogel.
There is still plenty of work to do for the purple and gold and completing a strong coaching staff will be important. Unfortunately, they missed out on another top target.