According to Peter Fleischer of Fox 13 Memphis, Nick Van Exel confirms he, JB Bickerstaff and Keith Smart have all joined the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff as assistants.
Nick Van Exel confirms he, JB Bickerstaff and Keith Smart have all joined the Grizzlies staff as assistants.— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) June 8, 2016
Van Exel and Bickerstaff have been reported elsewhere before, but Keith Smart is a new name for new Grizzlies Head Coach David Fizdale's staff, as Fleischer goes on to say on Twitter. Both he and Bickerstaff have NBA head coaching experience. Between that experience and the experience/respect former players as coaches bring (Van Exel, Bickerstaff, and Smart all played in the NBA), Fizdale's staff is shaping up quite nicely.
In other news, Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter has won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Once again, from Peter Fleischer...
Never seen a vet take more equity in younger teammates or provide a better example. Congrats to VC! pic.twitter.com/irqUh47BGI— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) June 8, 2016
The award, voted on by fellow players, "recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team", according to the press release.
According to the Grizzlies official website, "Carter will be presented with the trophy by 2013-14 Twyman-Stokes winner Shane Battier today, in an on-court ceremony during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in Cleveland. As part of its support for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA will make a $25,000 donation to Carter's foundation, the Embassy of Hope Foundation (established in 1998), which assists organizations and individuals in improving the quality of life for children." "Believing in Your Dreams", the foundation's slogan, represents Vince's lifelong commitment to perseverance and achievement."
Congrats to the new coaches and to Vince Carter in particular, as he represents what is the best that the NBA has to offer with regard to leadership and veteran presence.