"That’s it — we’re done, this hack of an NBA season for the Houston Rockets is finally over."
This season pretty much ended the way it started early-in — a glorified conundrum that had all of our heads spinning.
Yes, the Rockets didn’t end the season with a losing record and they did qualify for the playoffs but I’m not issuing any moral victories.
This season was a failure, a total collapse of all things we hold near/dear and most of us are trying to figure out what the hell happened.
The team’s precipitous fall from the graces of a Western Conference Finals finish last season has us all scratching our heads.
For the most part, the team that took part in that feat in last year’s postseason returned and one would think a similar outcome would’ve happened.
It was just a season of disappointment; and, quite frankly, this is literally the worst season I’ve witnessed of Rockets basketball in my life.
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Because in the rare instances where we’d have a down season, at least I KNEW that’s what we were but this team had zero identity and I still couldn’t figure out who they were.
And we’ll likely never know the answer to that either…
This team was a collection of amazing talent coupled with a bad mix of personalities which can be just as lethal for team chemistry.
I know that’s certainly the reason why this season epitomized underachievement.
But enough about the 2015-16 season, it’s over and it’s time to look ahead to hopefully bright future for this team.
One of the first moves that the Rockets should make is finding a coach to lead this team.
With the draft coming up in June as well as free agency/summer league workouts in July, there needs to be a coach in place to coordinate all of what needs to be done in the off season.
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The names I coveted are gone — Tom Thibadeau and Scott Brooks — but Jeff Van Gundy is still in the fold hopefully.
I’d even consider Mark Jackson to take over the post as I’m confident he had a significant impact in building the Golden State Warriors as they are today.
But he won’t get the credit for it because of his tarnished relationship with their management.
But take a listen, here’s a name I noticed that nobody is floating around.
Why don’t they bring former Rockets’ assistant coach Kelvin Sampson in?
We had some solid defensive teams on his watch, he draws the respect from James Harden and I think he could have a tremendous impact on team’s mindset, whatever form it will be in next season.
Space City Scoop
However, it may highly unlikely as he signed a five-year, $4.5 million deal to coach/mold the University of Houston Cougars basketball program back in 2014.
He has made notable strides two years into his contract — his team did win 22 games this year and they qualified for the first round of the NCAA Tourney — but I’m just not sure if his heart is anywhere outside of the college game.
But if the Rockets throw enough money at him, who knows what will happen.
Everybody has a price.
Sure, we can talk about his five-year show cause penalty that was levied in 2008, banning him from college basketball as a result of numerous violations of NCAA recruiting practices when he was with the University of Oklahoma/Indiana University but the man knows basketball and could be a tremendous boost for the Rockets.
I think he’d be a great fit for the Rockets but it’d be a bittersweet moment if this were to actually come to pass.
I certainly want the UH basketball program to flourish just as much as the football program has but it would likely be taken aback if he left once again.
So we’ll have to see…
Samspon, 60, was the Rockets’ top assistant coach from 2011-14.