Report: Rockets to interview D'Antoni and Vogel after Bickerstaff withdraws
Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has withdrawn as a candidate in the team’s coaching search, The Vertical reports.
The Rockets will turn their attention to 76ers associated head coach Mike D'Antoni and fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
The team is also interested in Texas coach Shaka Smart and Kansas coach Bill Self, Stein reports.
Bickerstaff went 37–34 in his first-ever head job, filling in after Kevin McHale’s firing and guiding the Rockets to the playoffs. The Vertical reports Bickerstaff met with owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey on Tuesday. The team is planning a large-scale search to identify its next coach.
Bickerstaff, 37, is reportedly in contact with other teams regarding lead assistant positions.
The Rockets were eliminated in the first round, falling to the defending champion Warriors in five games. The team has reportedly met with Clippers assistant Sam Cassel and Rockets assistant Chris Finch regarding the opening. Former coach Jeff Van Gundy, now an ESPN analyst, and Kenny Smith, the TNT analyst, are also among the candidates.