J.B. Bickerstaff to be named Memphis Grizzlies’ head coach

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The Memphis Grizzlies reached agreement with J.B. Bickerstaff on a three-year contract to become the franchise’s head coach, league sources told ESPN.

Bickerstaff coached the final 63 games of the regular season as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach, while often limited in personnel. He replaced David Fizdale, who was fired on Nov. 27 after a 7-12 start.

Despite a 15-48 record, Bickerstaff made a strong impression on management and Grizzlies players under difficult circumstances and ultimately became a clear choice within the organization to become elevated to the full-time coaching role.

Bickerstaff was without one of the NBA’s top point guards, Mike Conley, for most of the season. Memphis has a chance at a top-three pick in the 2018 NBA draft and could retool quickly to return to playoff contention.

Bickerstaff replaced Kevin McHale as the Houston Rockets‘ coach in 2015, completing the season 37-34 and reaching the playoffs as interim coach. Bickerstaff was an assistant coach for 11 seasons before the interim role with the Rockets, including stops with Charlotte, Minnesota and Houston. His father, Bernie Bickerstaff, was a successful NBA head coach and executive.



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