Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale was fired this morning after the Rockets got off to a 4-7 start after making the Western Conference Finals last season. JB Bickerstaff, University of Minnesota alumnus & former Wolves assistant, takes over as interim head coach.
McHale found himself out of a job after the Rockets had a players-only meeting and were embarrassed by the Boston Celtics. From the sounds of it is that McHale lost control of the team and they could not play defense. This comes after McHale received a contract extension last season.
This isn’t a Rockets blog. But it is important to discuss Kevin McHale. Can’t say McHale is an amazing coach. But also can’t say the exact problem was him. Lots has gone on recently. James Harden has shot the ball terribly along with many other Rockets. But the blame came on McHale and he is gone. Immediately, many Wolves fan saw a member of the ‘Country Club’ available and made the linkage. Will he come back? If so, in what capacity?
One has to imagine McHale will take some time away from the game. He has experienced a difficult last few years. He lost his daughter in 2012 which triggered an emotional meeting with KG after a nationally televised game as seen below:
You also have to imagine McHale took the loss of his Gopher teammate Flip Saunders hard, regardless how they parted ways professionally.
The Wolves seem to be fine with Milt Newton and Sam Mitchell for now, being that they are only 11 wins away from matching last season’s total. But the Timberwolves do seem to be a Country Club with the return of Kevin Garnett as a mentor and Sam Mitchell as the current Head Coach. Glen Taylor also has been interested in selling the team and usually only works with people he trusts.
That said, it is unclear to know what the relationship is like between Taylor and McHale. You would believe Taylor would reach out to McHale. In what capacity? Its unclear. But there has to be a possibility there. Kevin McHale is a huge factor in the development of Kevin Garnett’s post game. It would be interesting to see McHale work with Karl-Anthony Towns. McHale coached the Wolves in random stints that weren’t good. He could potentially even join an ownership group with Garnett in the future, that could be the successors for Glen Taylor. I can’t imagine him joining eventually as a GM but I believe he could be a consultant sooner rather than later.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. He was just fired and nothing may come of it now, but in the future…. you never know…
Wolves won last night in Miami and take on one of my favorite young teams tonight, Orlando Magic.