Report: Grizzlies Working to Make Bickerstaff Head Coach


J.B. Bickerstaff at Grizzlies exit interviews - SAMUEL X. CICCI
  • Samuel X. Cicci
  • J.B. Bickerstaff at Grizzlies exit interviews

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports that the Grizzlies are working to remove the "interim" title from head coach J.B. Bickerstaff:

This isn't surprising, given the news that Robert Pera would retain ownership of the Grizzlies. It seems that hopes for a regime change in the Grizzlies front office — which would mean a coaching search led by whatever new hires were made — were just that: hopes.

Bickerstaff seems to be well-liked by the players and is a well-respected coaching prospect. It's undeniable that some of the Grizzlies' young players developed under his leadership, but some of the same players also made strides under Bickerstaff's predecessor David Fizdale.

I have no real sense whether Bickerstaff is a good coach for the long-term. The team was abysmal last year, no matter who was coaching it, but he seems to have a solid rapport with his players (especially Gasol, who was the center — no pun intended — of the controversy around Fizdale's firing) and he was undoubtedly a good soldier during a dismal tanking effort. I'm sure he's fine. Every Grizzlies coach since Marc Iavaroni has been a first-time NBA head coach (not counting previous interim stints). Chris Wallace has made all of those hires. As long as Chris Wallace remains the head of the basketball side of the Grizzlies, these are the kinds of hires they'll make.

I'm a little disappointed that there's no sign of fresh thinking and new ideas from the basketball side of the Grizzlies, but hope springs eternal.

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