The Memphis Grizzlies continued their coaching revamp by bringing in former Fort Wayne Mad Ants head coach Duane Ticknor as an assistant to new head coach Dave Joerger. Ticknor guided the Mad Ants to their first playoff appearance in the NBA D-League last season, finishing with a 27-23 record.
Joerger and the Grizzlies thought this one through and made an excellent decision. Ticknor is familiar with Joerger, as the new Grizzlies coach worked for him when he coached the Dakota Wizards. It’s funny how the roles have now switched, but there’s no doubt the two will still work very well together.
Ticknor told FortWayne.com he is excited about the opportunity:
“This is an up-and-coming franchise,” Ticknor said. “I think it’s an exciting time.
He has undoubtedly left his mark on the Mad Ants and admitted this was a tough decision, as he will miss everyone amongst the organization:
“People think just because it’s the NBA, you’re gonna jump all over it, but I had a few sleepless nights thinking about it.
“I’m excited for the opportunity, but people in Fort Wayne – from the office down to the players, to the media, to the fans, everybody treated me so well. I’ll miss them a lot.”
The Grizzlies are headed in somewhat of a new direction after letting go of former coach Lionel Hollins, but do not doubt that they will continue their defensive prowess under Joerger and Ticknor.
Both guys are up-and-coming coaches and are deserving of this opportunity. It doesn’t hurt that they’re coming into a great scenario, getting to further develop a Western Conference Finals team from a year ago.