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The Memphis Grizzlies knew J.B. Bickerstaff was their man all along and have made his hiring as their next head coach official.
“J.B. did an admirable job as interim head coach last season in what was a challenging set of circumstances,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. “J.B. has connected with our players and earned their respect throughout his time in Memphis, and we have been pleased with his role in developing our young players. We are excited to see him coach with a full offseason and a healthy roster next season.”
The Grizzlies did not conduct any interviews for the position. According to ESPN, Bickerstaff agreed to a three-year contract.
He coached the final 63 games after taking over for David Fizdale in November. Despite a 15-48 record, Bickerstaff earned praise and support from Grizzlies management and players, including team cornerstones Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr.
Bickerstaff coached the Houston Rockets to a 37-34 record in 2015, when he replaced the fired Kevin McHale. He has also been an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Grizzlies have the second-highest lottery odds (behind Phoenix) of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.