And the parade of candidates has begun.
The Houston Rockets need a new coach, they want someone younger who can grow with the team, and GM Daryl Morey is leaving no stone unturned. He is interviewing about as many people as live in Montana.
The interviews start this week, according to the Houston Chronicle (via Hoopshype).
Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, who served as head coach at Indiana and Oklahoma before moving to the NBA, is expected to meet with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey Tuesday.
Rockets assistant coach Jack Sikma and former Rockets forward Mario Elie, who has been an assistant with Sacramento, Golden State and San Antonio, will interview Wednesday.
Former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, a former Rockets player who still lives in Katy, is expected to meet with Morey on Thursday.
Morey has received permission to speak with many assistant coaches still involved in the playoffs but will seek to work around the first-round schedule. The Rockets have expressed interest in Memphis’ Dave Joeger, Dallas’ Dwane Casey, Boston’s Lawrence Frank and San Antonio’s Mike Budenholzer.
This is not going to be a fast process. Which is fine, there is no rush. It’s nice to have a coach’s input around the draft, but Morey drives the personnel decisions with the Rockets, so it’s not necessary.
What is it about drinking and driving in Sacramento?
Mario Elie, the one time three-point NBA specialist turned Sacramento Kings coach, was arrested for driving under the influence, according to News 10 in the city (KHTK 1140 AM broke the story). He was pulled over for a broken taillight but the officer smelled alcohol and did a field sobriety test which led to the arrest.
Here is Elie’s statement via the Kings:
“I was pulled over last night on my way home for having a broken taillight. I had been out and had a couple of drinks. My blood alcohol level was slightly over the legal limit. I’m very sorry, embarrassed and disappointed for the position in which I put myself and team. Rest assured, it won’t happen again as I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Team GM Geoff Petrie said:
“We are very concerned and disappointed in regard to Mario’s arrest for DUI. This is an ugly form of history repeating itself. We expect better, knowing at the same time there are limits to how far you can go to protect people from themselves. In spite of all of this, we still respect Mario’s right to due process.”
Elie was an 11-year NBA veteran and three-point specialist who won three NBA rings (two with Houston, one with the Spurs). He joined the Kings staff this season.
That is three people associated with the Kings pulled over for a DUI in the last three months. Antoine Wright was pulled over and arrested for a DUI on Nov. 4 (he has sense been released by the team). Minority owner George Maloof, Jr. was arrested in Las Vegas drunk driving back in October.
Before that there was then-King Andres Nocioni’s DUI arrest in 2009. Back in 2006 then Kings coach Eric Musselman was arrested as well. And that’s not to mention Tyreke Evans sober but stupid 100 mph chase along a freeway that led to an arrest and a one-game suspension by the league.