For those gentlemen – and who knows, maybe ladies, too – who aspire to one day reach the pinnacle of the basketball coaching profession, be advised that institutions you hope to work for may not be run in the most rational manner. And I’m reasonably certain that Jeff Hornacek, Lionel Hollins, David Blatt and Kevin McHale would agree with me. Hornacek just became the latest NBA head coach to lose his job, although compared to others, the Phoenix Suns looked positively patient.
We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season and the NBA landscape has shifted dramatically. Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season and wants to be remembered as a “talented overachiever” when it’s all said and done. Meanwhile, Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (1-19) for the league’s worst record. With every loss, the Lakers grow closer to keeping their top-three protected draft pick and potentially land top prospect Ben Simmons. On the flip side, the Golden
It seems like the Houston Rockets are willing to try nearly anything to get out of their early-season funk. As we approach the quarter pole of the NBA season, Houston has already replaced its head coach and is trying numerous different lineup combinations. To put it nicely, things are still a work in progress for the Rockets. After needing overtime to defeat the Knicks, who were without Carmelo Anthony because of an illness, on Sunday, Houston stumbled to a 116-105 loss to
HOUSTON — Entering Wednesday, Kevin McHale had accumulated the best winning percentage of any coach in Rockets franchise history and was mere months removed from somehow guiding his injury-plagued team to an unexpected berth in the Western Conference finals. Before lunch, he was fired. Because of 11 regular-season games. McHale, who was in his fifth season as Houston’s coach, was let go just 11 games into his new three-year, $12 million contract extension. In other words, expectations are high enough that owner
Talk is cheap. Just ask the slumping Houston Rockets, whose locker room is starting to resemble a presidential candidates’ debate. “We’ve been talking,” slumping superstar James Harden said. “We’ve been doing too much talking.” “We’ve had a lot of heart-to-hearts,” coach Kevin McHale said. “As a matter of fact, we talk too much. Talking doesn’t win basketball games.” Last season, the Rockets surprised more than a few folks by crashing the Western Conference finals, a spot thought to be reserved for the San
The 2014-15 Houston Rockets were a feel-good story, shaking off major injuries and muted preseason forecasts to become the Western Conference’s second-best team. The 2015-16 Rockets, on the other hand, shouldn’t come as such a surprise. Following the bold offseason trade for former Denver point guard Ty Lawson, the story in Houston is back to being about what is, rather than what might be. In other words, GM Daryl Morey is finally “all-in” on his roster. While Lawson fills the obvious need of
The Houston Rockets probably don’t have the depth of physical talent to win an NBA title just yet. But mentally, James Harden’s team could already be there. They made that statement quite clear in Monday’s Game 4, a game most expected to be Golden State’s title coronation after grabbing a 3-0 series lead. Instead, led by 45 points from the MVP-runner-up, the Rockets improved to 4-0 this postseason in elimination games — and 7-2 in the Harden era. These Rockets are now just the
Was an unexpected comeback ever in the works for injured Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley in the Western Conference Finals? It depends who you believe. Rockets’ officials, including head coach Kevin McHale and general manager Daryl Morey, consistently stuck with the company line that he’s out for the entire playoffs, which the Rockets first said on March 30 after Beverley opted for surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left, non-shooting wrist. But Beverley himself has had other ideas. In April, he told Mark Berman