Tag: Rockets coach

Assistant coach Kevin McHale of the Rook

Kevin McHale reaches deal to coach Rockets


UPDATE 3:24 pm: Well, that didn’t take long. The two sides have come to an agreement in principle and Kevin McHale is your new coach of the Houston Rockets.

This is reportedly a four year deal with a team option for the last year. This is a Rockets roster in flux, it will be interesting to see what it looks like in four years and how (or if) McHale can mold that lineup.

12:55 pm: Kevin McHale badly wanted another chance to prove himself as an NBA head coach. Looks like he is going to get it.

The Rockets have offered their head coaching job to Kevin McHale, according to multiple sources, including the Houston Chronicle (Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo had it first). They still have to negotiate terms but both sides want this so expect it to get done.

McHale beat out Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank — both former NBA head coaches — for the job.

McHale has an unimpressive 39-55 record in two half-seasons with the Wolves, but that is without context. In both cases he stepped in midseason for a fired coach (Flip Saunders and Randy Whitman) and in both cases the team played better under him than it did his predecessor.

McHale is a legendary Celtics forward with a nice collection of rings. He should be great at molding a young, talented big man — too bad the Rockets don’t have one of those.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey was looking for a guy for the long term, to rebuild with as the coach. This older generation player is an interesting choice.

Rockets head coaching search down to three finalists

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Hornets
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After interviewing a candidate pool roughly the size of the population of India, the Houston Chronicle reports they Rockets have narrowed the search to three finalists:

Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey and Kevin McHale.

All three of them are former NBA head coaches. Frank is the current lead assistant for the Boston Celtics, Casey is still working as an assistant in Dallas right now. McHale is working as an analysit for NBA TV.

While the Rockets are going to be rebuilding their team, it is interesting that Rockets GM Daryl Morey does not have a younger, assistant coach who can grow with a younger team. He is not taking that chance, he is going with someone who may have learned something on the job and wants a second chance. People he felt comfortable working with.

No word on when a final decision will be reached.

Pacers take time with Vogel, so he interviews with Houston

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If the Indiana Pacers don’t bring back interim Frank Vogel as coach, they are making a mistake.

But before they can be bothered with Vogel, team president Larry Bird needs to sit down with owner Herb Simon and figure out who is running the team next season. And figure out the direction they want to go. That hasn’t happened yet.

So Vogel interviewed with the Houston Rockets about their vacancy, the Indianapolis Star reports.

The fact Vogel had an interview with the Rockets just means he’s a coach with a pulse, as the Rockets have spoken to seemingly everyone who meets that criteria. They probably even called to check on the availability of Red Holzman, just in case.

But this is a note to the Pacers that they may want to lock up Vogel, who was 20-18 as an interim coach, opened up the offense, led the Pacers to the playoffs and had a team that pushed the Bulls in the first round.

Rockets had plan for new coach, Adelman didn’t play along

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The Rockets have moved on and are apparently interviewing everyone who has ever touched a basketball for their vacant head coaching position, so we’re not going to dwell on the past. Much.

But we’re going to one last time revisit the Rockets not bringing back Rick Adelman as head coach. Which seemed to be something built up for a while, with management seeming to be on a different page and questioning if Adelman was the right man for a young, rebuilding team.

But according to the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets wanted to bring Adelman back to mentor a successor, but he refused. (h/t Ball Don’t Lie)

Adelman could have remained the Rockets’ head coach, but was told that the Rockets had decided to hire his successor and put him on Adelman’s coaching staff if he remained, according to two individuals with knowledge of the talks.

Though Adelman and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey came together on several issues, Morey wanted Adelman to mentor a successor that Morey and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander would have chosen and put on Adelman’s staff. Adelman was unwilling to make the changes necessary to his staff, arguing in favor of assistants.

Adelman, 64, has long touted lead assistant Elston Turner as ready to lead a team, but the Rockets were not willing to designate Turner as Adelman’s successor, leading to Turner’s decision to turn down an offer to interview for the head coaching position.

Not sure I blame Adelman here, that would have been awkward. There are coaches-in-waiting in the NBA (Brian Shaw for the Lakers, maybe Lawrence Frank in Boston) but neither of those are official, locked in things. This is not some college football program trying to keep an offensive coordinator in house with a title, this is professional sports and nothing is guaranteed.

At what point would the power balance have started to shift? If the players learned of the situation (and they would have) how would they have dealt with the lame duck Adelman? Lots of questions. Ones we will never have the answer to.

But the way it turned out seems to be the better path to follow.

Rockets start meeting with coaching candidates. All of them.

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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.