HoopsHype Bernie Bickerstaff rumors

July 22, 2011 Updates

Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff is scheduled on Friday to become the third candidate to interview for the Timberwolves' head coaching job. President of basketball operations David Kahn and owner Glen Taylor interviewed former Timberwolves guard Terry Porter on Monday and former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson on Tuesday. They are expected to interview Don Nelson and perhaps one or two other candidates this weekend or early next week. Bickerstaff, 67, owns a .445 winning percentage (415-517) in 13 seasons as head coach with Seattle, Denver, Washington and Charlotte. He last was a head coach for the Bobcats in 2007, when his team went 33-49. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

July 21, 2011 Updates

Portland Trail Blazer assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will be interviewed Friday in Minnesota for the vacant Timberwolves' head coaching position, it has been learned. Bickerstaff was originally rumored to be a candidate as part of a scenario that indicated he would mentor his son, John-Blair Bickerstaff, who was a Minnesota assistant coach last season, for a couple of seasons before the son took over the head coaching job. But J.B. has taken an assistant coaching position with the Houston Rockets and the elder Bickerstaff is still being considered for the T-Wolves' job. CSNNW.com

July 14, 2011 Updates

Fellow coaching veteran Bernie Bickerstaff, who worked as an assistant in Portland last season, is the only candidate that the Wolves have publicly acknowledged. But the Wolves' interest in Bickerstaff was largely tied to the prospect of Minnesota keeping hold of his son, J.B. Bickerstaff, to groom him for a possible promotion to coach, sources said. J.B. Bickerstaff since has committed to join Kevin McHale's new staff in Houston, along with another reported Wolves target, Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson. It remains to be seen how much the Wolves are willing to spend on a replacement after Rambis was fired with two years left on his contract. If money is not an obstacle -- as Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn insisted earlier this week -- Minnesota also is expected to gauge the interest of former Rockets coach Rick Adelman. ESPN.com

July 12, 2011 Updates

Two top candidates for the job include Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff and Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson, league source told Yahoo! Sports. J.B. Bickerstaff, a T’wolves assistant, could be part of a succession plan with his father, Bernie. Yahoo! Sports

The Timberwolves have asked the Trail Blazers for permission to interview assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff for their soon-to-be vacant head coaching position, and president Larry Miller gave the OK late last week. Miller and Blazers coach Nate McMillan did not know Monday afternoon when Bickerstaff was scheduled to interview for the job and Bickerstaff was not immediately available for contact. “Bernie’s been in that position before,” McMillan said of being a head coach. “So we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to speak for Bernie, but I know he’s extremely happy with Portland and being here working with me. He’s said time and time again he likes where we are and what we’re doing. It’s going to have to be something really attractive to go.” Oregonian

July 11, 2011 Updates
June 28, 2011 Updates

Buchanan said Minnesota has not asked for permission to speak to assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff. Several media reports this past weekend suggested that the Timberwolves – who still have not fired coach Kurt Rambis, as many expect – would hire Bickerstaff and have him run the team for several seasons, then hand the reins over to son J.B., a current Minnesota assistant. Oregonian

June 26, 2011 Updates

Meanwhile, Kahn is going ahead with his plan to bring in Bickerstaff, the veteran NBA coach and executive, and father of J.B. Bickerstaff, a highly regarded Timberwolves' assistant. The plan is for Bernie to hand the job off to his son in a year or two. But friends of J.B. have been urging him this past week to leave the franchise, because it's never going to get better with Kahn in charge. That's hard to argue, looking at his body of work since assuming GM duties in 2009. New York Daily News

June 24, 2011 Updates

The hot rumor Thursday was that, as a money-saving move with an NBA lockout looming, the Timberwolves will promote assistant J.B. Bickerstaff to succeed Kurt Rambis as coach. The plan would be for Bickerstaff, 32, a former Gophers guard, to be head coach on a short-term basis, but that could be extended depending on success. His father, former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who turns 68 in February, would be hired as an assistant and mentor. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Meanwhile, the other word circulating in basketball circles was that Sam Mitchell and Kelvin Sampson also have been among considerations to replace Rambis. Rambis' firing appears imminent. A little birdie says Mitchell, the former Timberwolves player who was the NBA's coach of the year in 2006-07 with the Toronto Raptors, had a lengthy, informal meeting with a top Wolves official after the season. St. Paul Pioneer Press

June 23, 2011 Updates

Mike Wells: Kahn is not allowin teams to talk to JB Bickerstaff. I see y now, @Adrian Wojnarowski reports JB could eventually end up as Wolves coach Twitter

Bernie Bickerstaff, an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, will be one of the primary focuses of the Wolves’ search, sources said. Bickerstaff’s son, J.B., had been an assistant on Rambis’ staff, and one scenario could have J.B. serving under his father as a coach-in-waiting. Bickerstaff has been the head coach of four teams, including the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics. His career record is 414-512. Yahoo! Sports

July 22, 2010 Updates
July 19, 2010 Updates

Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan will announce this week additions to his coaching staff, two of which are believed to be Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka. McMillan said one or more assistants have been picked, but need to be finalized this week by team president Larry Miller. One candidate is believed to be Jim Lynam. Oregonian

July 6, 2010 Updates

Three other names linked to the job have been discounted by various team sources — former Suns owner and Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo, ex-Charlotte Executive VP Bernie Bickerstaff and fired Portland GM Kevin Pritchard. So the Nets await word from the free agents. They met with James, one of six teams to do so, and then Bosh and Wade Thursday. There were no return meetings with James, who attended a Nike basketball camp yesterday in his hometown Akron. "We made our presentation and we’re waiting," said one Nets team exec who indicated the Nets would likely wait for next year’s attractive free agents, rather than overpay mediocre talent this year. New York Post

July 2, 2010 Updates

As everyone knows, the worst thing you can do is bring in a GM after the coach is already in place. The former does not easily follow the latter – indeed, he hires him, typically. The only way to keep them in sync is to make sure they have a chemistry, and only Thorn can be trusted to make that determination. He told us he will influence the selection. But Avery Johnson should also approve of the selection, and we’re told he’s already made his choice: Bernie Bickerstaff, who coincidentally brought Avery into the league 18 years ago. Newark Star-Ledger

June 28, 2010 Updates

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