J.B. Bickerstaff has had enough of the Rockets.
Yahoo Sports reports that Bickerstaff, who served as Houston's interim coach after Kevin McHale was fired early in the season, has removed himself from consideration for the permanent job.
After a meeting with ownership and the front office on Monday, Houston Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff has informed team officials he’s no longer a candidate for the head-coaching job, league sources told The Vertical.
The Rockets are beginning to line up candidates in what promises to be a wide-ranging search, league sources told The Vertical.
The article also stated that many teams have already reached out to Bickerstaff with regard to lead assistant positions, and that is where he's turning his focus. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for an organization when a guy would rather take a demotion to be an assistant than coach your team.
The Rockets went 37-34 under Bickerstaff but continued to frustrate with inconsistency and a lack of total effort. It was, in all honesty, a miasma of failure. They were unable to compete with the Warriors despite Stephen Curry's absence. Their problems defensively were not solvable and some of Bickerstaff's strategies and rotations were confusing. Bickerstaff, in all likelihood, wasn't going to be hired as the permanent coach anyway.
That said, Bickerstaff is well regarded and again, Yahoo reports he's being considered for several lead assistant opportunities. There's every reason to think that Bickerstaff can be a good head coach in this league, but he'll need a few years for the memories of this horrible Rockets team to escape. To blame Bickerstaff for the problems of a team that failed in effort, heart, chemistry, and execution is short-sighted.
Bickerstaff's a good coach, and honestly, it's just as good for Bickerstaff that he's moving on as it is that the Rockets are looking to add someone new.