The Houston Rockets finally decided on a replacement coach, after Rick Adelman and management decided to “mutually” part ways. Most NBA fans know McHale through the impressive resume he created as a professional player in the NBA. McHale is a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, and is considered to be one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
But all the accolades aside is Kevin McHale the right man for the job? McHale’s career stats as a player sure are spectacular but as a coach, not so much. Kevin who prior to landing the Rockets job coached the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then found his way onto the NBA TV/TNT set alongside Charles Barkely, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson. So what made Kevin return to basketball?
“There’s nothing like being in the fight,” McHale said. “There’s something about being in the game that’s really fun, and I really enjoyed that.”
The Rockets were apparently sold by the wealth of knowledge Kevin McHale possessed, and that seemed to have edged him past candidates such as Lawrence Frank, and Dwane Casey who are currently assistant coaches for there respective teams.
One things for sure, McHale has a very motivational tone about himself. He’s confident, smart, and enthusiastic. He has an answer for everything and genuinely seems like a fun human being to be around. As many players have said in the past, having a “players coach” is a huge benefit. McHale can relate to the players, because he was one not so long ago. I think the most positive thing about hiring McHale will be his communication in the locker room with his players.
The Rockets still have lots of holes to fill within the coaching staff, but are extremely optimistic with one particular candidate. Chris Finch who coached the Rockets “D-League” affiliate the Rio Grande Valley Vipers shows tons of potential. The consensus now seems to believe he will be groomed under McHale and eventually take the head coaching job all for himself. It’s an interesting scenario and one built for the future, further proving the Rockets realize they must leave the “win now” mentality in the backseat. Yes fans, that means a couple more years of not making the playoffs, but this is a step that had been avoided multiple times by the Rockets. As fans we will always have to sit back and think “what if?” Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming stayed healthy. But lets not go down the path ever again….
The Rockets do have decisions to make as they move into the future. Will Luis Scola be on the move? Who will the Rockets draft and how will they get the most out of a weak draft class? Who will the Rockets sign during the Free Agency period?
One thing is for sure, the Rockets are well equipped with a number cruncher, in GM Daryl Morey, and a willing owner in Les Alexander who truly wants better for his team.
We’ll see what happens Rockets fans!