Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey stepping down caught a lot of people around the NBA off guard, but not the candidates for the Houston head coaching job.
At least the Rockets say the candidates were given a heads up on the situation, reports . Not all the candidates saw that so clearly. at The Athletic
“We’ve been up front with all the candidates that this was coming and they’ve been respectful to not have it get out early. It’s been baked in.”
Yet according to two of the Rockets coaching candidates, it wasn’t quite that clear that Morey was on his way out. There were signs of something being amiss, the candidates said, among them the fact that Morey wasn’t leading the process. But they said there was no direct message that Morey was about to step down.
It is possible only a handful of leading Houston coaching candidates were given a heads up (we don’t know who was spoken to for this story were). Or, it’s possible the Rockets thought they were clear but the candidates didn’t see or hear it that way. It’s all a matter of perspective.
According to the report, Morey has pulled back on the coaching search and served more as a consultant. With Monte McNair also leaving the Rockets front office to become the GM in Sacramento, new head man Rafael Stone has taken the lead role and a lot of responsibility.
For a coaching candidate with options (think Tyronn Lue) this would matter a lot, who is your boss would impact a decision about taking the job or not. However, for candidates without other head coaching options, it matters but wouldn’t change their plans. There are only 30 NBA head coaching jobs, not everyone can afford to be picky.
The Rockets coaching search seems to be focused on three men: Jeff Van Gundy and Stephen Silas (both of whom have had multiple interviews), and Houston assistant coach John Lucas, who reportedly has a lot of support from James Harden and Russell Westbrook.