JB Bickerstaff Rumors

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So what might Flip Saunders be waiting for if the Timberwolves aren’t going to change GMs and he turned down the U. of Minnesota? One, he is enjoying his TV work for ESPN, I’m told. Two, the family issues with which current Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman is dealing could prompt him to step down sometime in the future. I’m not sure where they go if that happens, but I have to think both Flip and JB Bickerstaff in Houston — one of the young assistants earmarked to be hired as a head coach someday and a former Timberwolves assistant — would be on their list.
The Rockets made Kevin McHale’s coaching staff selections official on Friday, with Kelvin Sampson named his lead assistant. J.B. Bickerstaff was hired as an assistant coach with Rockets director of player development Brett Gunning promoted to an assistant coach position. Chris Finch had been promoted from the head coaching position with the Rockets NBA Development League team and worked with the Rockets prior to the draft and with players following the draft. Sampson had been an assistant with the Bucks for three seasons and Bickerstaff had been an assistant with the Timberwolves for four seasons, including during McHale’s second stint as Timberwolves coach. “I’m thrilled to have these men on my coaching staff,” McHale said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have a very qualified and well-respected group of coaches on staff who will be committed to winning and helping our players reach their full potential.
The Houston Rockets have officially announced the additions of four assistants to Kevin McHale’s staff, including former college coach Kelvin Sampson. McHale was hired June 1 to replace Rick Adelman. J.B. Bickerstaff, Chris Finch and Brett Gunning will join the staff, along with Sampson, who will serve as McHale’s lead assistant. Sampson has worked as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks for the past three seasons. Bickerstaff, the son of former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, has been an assistant in Minnesota since 2007.
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.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale filled out much of his coaching staff on Tuesday, reaching agreement in principle with Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson to be lead assistant and with J.B. Bickerstaff to join Chris Finch as assistant coaches, a person with knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday. Sampson, the former Oklahoma and Indiana coach who was one of the first coaches interviewed for the Rockets’ head coaching position, was expected to be a considered for the head coaching job with the Pistons and Bucks. Sampson declined to comment on the decision or his interest in the assistant coaching position on Tuesday, but he did say he learned a great deal about the Rockets’ organization in his 14-hour interview for the head coaching position, comparing it to taking the ACT and SAT back-to-back.
Sampson declined to comment on the decision or his interest in the assistant coaching position on Tuesday, but he did say he learned a great deal about the Rockets’ organization in his 14-hour interview for the head coaching position, comparing it to taking the ACT and SAT back-to-back. “When you go through something like that, you learn a lot about the organization and about yourself too,” Sampson said. “It was good. It was an interesting process. Those guys have a very good idea what they’re looking for. A huge part of being head coach in NBA is being prepared. Part of the process is preparation.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale filled out much of his coaching staff on Tuesday, reaching agreement in principle with Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson to be lead assistant and with J.B. Bickerstaff to join Chris Finch as assistant coaches, a person with knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday. Sampson, the former Oklahoma and Indiana coach who was one of the first coaches interviewed for the Rockets’ head coaching position, was expected to be a considered for the head coaching job with the Pistons and Bucks.
Bird and Vogel have met several times in recent weeks, and have targeted several assistant coaches – including Terry Porter and J.B. Bickerstaff – that the Pacers would like to surround Vogel. Indiana hasn’t completely ruled out waiting longer and meeting with outside candidates, but management and Vogel have been increasingly in agreement on how to proceed forward together. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has urged Bird – a close friend of his – to consider assistant coach Dwane Casey, but that appears a more unlikely route.