MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies have found their new head coach.
The Grizzlies confirmed the hire Tuesday, as it was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Milwaukee finished the season with a league-best 60-22 record before losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to Toronto.
Jenkins replaces J.B. Bickerstaff, who was fired shortly after the 2018-19 season ended.
Jenkins is also part of what’s becoming a very successful coaching tree of Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer. He’s the third Budenholzer assistant to get a head coaching job in the NBA after Utah’s Quin Snyder and Brooklyn’s Kenny Atkinson.
Jenkins is seen as a developmental coach, having worked with NBA superstar Giannis Antetekounmpo.
Jenkins has head coaching experience in the NBA’s G-League, leading the Spurs affiliate Austin Toros to the playoffs in 2013 before moving up to an assistant in the NBA.
At 34 years old, Jenkins is now the NBA’s second-youngest head coach.
He met the Memphis Media Wednesday afternoon at FedExForum. His arrival was delayed by a day due to mechanical problems on his connection flight from Milwaukee through Atlanta.
Jenkins showed gratitude and emotion in accepting the Memphis head coaching job.
"Basketball’s an amazing sport. It creates relationships that last a lifetime. To Coach Bud, took a chance on me, gave me great responsibility, and you challenged me to get better every single day,and prepared me to have the confidence to take the next step to be a head coach. I thank you, and I love you,” said Jenkins.
He inherits a team that has the number two pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, expected to go to consensus All-American guard Ja Morant of Murray State.
Morant underwent arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago, but was back in the gym this week showing no ill effects.
The NBA Draft is set for June 20.
Jenkins says he’s already working on his staff, which should be in place before summer league starts next month in Utah.