Houston Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday for the team's head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Pistons interviewed Bickerstaff earlier in the week, and the Suns may be the next team to sit down with the 34-year-old assistant coach now that general manager Ryan McDonough is running the show.
Bucks general manager John Hammond is reportedly looking for a defensive-minded head coach who can control the locker room, but he has said he does not want to rush to a decision and there is no timetable for a hiring. So far the Bucks have interviewed Nate McMillan and Kelvin Sampson. They have also targeted Stan Van Gundy, and Lakers assistant Steve Clifford (who worked under Van Gundy in Orlando) will likely interview for the job as well.
Bickerstaff is the son of veteran NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff. He broke into the coaching ranks as the youngest assistant in the NBA (at age 25) while working under his father with Charlotte Bobcats (2004-07). He then spent four years with the Timberwolves before moving to the Rockets for the last two seasons.
Hammond certainly isn't hiding his affection for Kevin McHale's coaching staff in Houston. Targeting both Sampson and Bickerstaff may signal that the Bucks are looking to find a younger coach ready to take the next step and lead a team built on a younger foundation of John Henson and Larry Sanders.
Then again, these interviews may just be a part of the due diligence for a team that hasn't enjoyed much success for the better part of the last two decades. Hammond could be seeking input on the roster and how to construct the core of the team, as the Bucks have important offseason decisions to make regarding Brandon Jennings (restricted free agent), J.J. Redick (unrestricted), Mike Dunleavy (unrestricted) and Monta Ellis (player option for 2013-14).