Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff continues to put together his coaching staff with the addition of Jerry Stackhouse as an assistant, according to an ESPN.com report.
Stackhouse, a former NBA player and G League coach for the Toronto Raptors franchise, would be Bickerstaff’s second hire after luring away assistant coach Chad Forcier from the Orlando Magic in the spring.
Stackhouse interviewed with Toronto and New York for their head coaching vacancies. He led Toronto’s minor league team to consecutive G League Finals appearances, including the 2017 G League championship.
Stackhouse also served as an assistant coach under Dwane Casey before taking over the G League team. Stackhouse played 18 seasons in the NBA and was a two-time All-Star.
Bickerstaff had room for Stackhouse because Grizzlies assistant coach Keith Smart left to join former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale’s staff with the New York Knicks. Fizdale recently replaced Jeff Hornacek in New York while Bickerstaff was named permanent coach after serving as interim Grizzlies coach after Fizdale’s firing in Memphis last November.
Avery Johnson, who coached Stackhouse for four seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, praised both the 43-year-old's demeanor and willingness to learn, per the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy:
"Presence. He has a presence. He has personality. He has good people skills. He can see the game. He's got great instincts. Very flexible. Some coaches don't want to be coached. But he's the type of guy that will always be seeking to get better in the craft of coaching because he's flexible. Obviously, we know he's a tough guy with quote, unquote, street cred. But he's also a guy that you want to go to dinner with."
Stackhouse was considered in recent coaching searches conducted by the Hornets, Magic and Knicks. All three franchises opted for other candidates, but it is widely expected that Stackhouse's NBA coaching career will only progress from here.
For now, he will help guide a Grizzlies team hoping to rebound from its first season out of the playoffs since 2010, an effort that will be aided by Memphis holding the fourth overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.