Houston Rockets interim Coach J.B Bickerstaff has informed team officials that he is withdrawing his name from consideration to become the club’s head coach. He is instead is focusing on finding a lead assistant position.
Bickerstaff, son of former Lakers assistant coach (and interim head coach) Bernie, took over as interim head coach of the Rockets after the dismissal of Kevin McHale. While Bickerstaff did what he could to salvage the season, Houston squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed and was quickly dispatched by the Golden State Warriors.
According to Calvin Watkins of ESPN, Bickerstaff’s goal of landing an assistant position could lead him to Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers:
If JB Bickerstaff doesn’t remain with the Rockets in any capacity he could join the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff. Bickerstaff has a good relationship with newly hired coach Luke Walton.
While Walton is currently focused on helping the Warriors win a second consecutive championship, he is reportedly starting to compile a list of assistants he would like to consider for his staff, which could also include former-Laker Brian Shaw.
Walton’s meteoric rise up the coaching ranks landed him on top of the Lakers’ list of candidates who could replace Byron Scott. Signing him has been seen as something of a coup for Los Angeles, but there are still some concerns regarding his relative lack of experience.
To remedy this, Walton will look to recruit a veteran staff of assistants. Candidates are just beginning to emerge, but with respected names like Bickerstaff and Shaw in the mix, it would appear that Walton is already on the right track.