From guarding benches to coaching in barbecue country. I’m not saying that HAS to be on Taylor Jenkins’s tombstone, but after the report from Adrian Wojnarowski that he’s been hired as the Memphis Grizzlies head coach, it’s definitely in contention.
Jenkins is third NBA head coach to come directly off of Mike Budenholzer’s coaching staff, including Utah’s Quin Snyder and Brooklyn’s Kenny Atkinson. https://t.co/gMKqRMqKt8— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 11, 2019
Jenkins rise has been pretty incredible to watch, coming from the San Antonio Spurs G-League team (he made them playoff bound) to joining Budenholzer in Atlanta and jumping ship to Milwaukee. He was with Bud from the outset of his Hawks days in 2013, so he’s learned at his side for many years. In fact, Bud fancied his assistant so much, he even granted Jenkins the role Bud vigorously held on Popovich’s sideline for years: bench stopper.
It sounds like this wasn’t the only criteria that sold the Grizzlies franchise on Jenkins though. Per Woj’s story, his reputation hinges on player development and on-court tactics. The former is certainly pertinent to Memphis’s rebuild, with Jaren Jackson Jr. in tow and the number two pick incoming for this year’s draft. To be honest, assistant coaching roles typically feel like a black box though, so I’m not sure what sort of credit to give him. Apparently enough that he warranted a head coaching gig though!
It represents a further branching of Bud’s burgeoning coaching tree too, with Kenny Atkinson and Quin Snyder already making hay on opposite sides of the country. Jenkins has a chance to further cement the fact Bud’s disciples make for some of the more well-liked and successful hires among the many coaching trees out there. Good on Jenkins. Here’s hoping someone’s prepared to step into his role and corral the even-keeled Bucks bench next postseason.