Near the end of the first half of the Rockets’ win over the Spurs on Saturday, we were treated to a bit of coaching shenanigans courtesy of Houston’s Kevin McHale.
Tim Duncan is set to inbound the ball in front of the Rockets’ bench, and McHale is standing to Duncan’s right on the sideline — the same side of the floor where the Spurs’ big man will be attempting to throw his pass.
Duncan is explaining how wrong this seems to the official, which is why he lets the ball roll away instead of catching it when the referee bounces it to him. McHale briefly retreats to Duncan’s other side, before the official apparently explained that McHale, being within the designated coaching box area, was well within his rights to stand where he was.
McHale walked back in front of Duncan to his right, and Duncan delivered the pass on target to Manu Ginobili without incident.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was livid with McHale’s maneuver, however, and let the referees hear about at as he headed to the locker room. Popovich was then whistled for a technical foul for his outburst.
This is nothing compared to what Jason Kidd pulled off earlier this week with his drink-spilling incident, obviously. But it’s your latest reminder that these former Hall of Fame level players who are now head coaches have a competitive fire so intense that they will do seemingly anything to gain even the smallest of advantages.