The Houston Rockets are uncharacteristically in midst of the off season as a result of the once highly-regarded but underachieving season that they’ve just had.
There are going to be tremendous changes on the horizon and I have no idea what this team is going to look like next season.
Let’s face it folks, he calls the shots and the Rockets will continue to have an open ear as far as his input on how to build the team around him.
It’s totally understandable but I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t put too much power in a player’s hands because that was part of the problem for this season.
I’ve continued to reiterate that Harden likely had — but I have no proof — that he had a tremendous impact on the firing of Kevin McHale.
The two were bumping heads and I had a strong feeling that his days were numbered.
But would McHale have turned things around eventually after the 4-7 start 11 games into season?
We’ll never know but I suspect that the likely result would’ve been similar to what we had this season.
But I honestly think that although general manager Daryl Morey was likely quick with the trigger finger, he still did McHale a favor.
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McHale was able to relax, do some television and radio spots and enjoy the $12 million in cash that he’s still owed.
Managing this team of misguided misfits is not an easy task and I imagine McHale was stressed out to no end with the situation magnified because of the Rockets unimpressive play early-in.
But we’re past that now and it’s time to go out and find a coach that will lead this team back to the upper echelon once again.
All of our heads have been spinning as us fans are trying to get a handle on who will be the Rockets 14th head coach.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Calvin Watkins, Jeff Hornacek will be scheduled to interview soon but the date and time has yet to be determined.
It’s great that the Rockets are thinking outside the box for their vacancy but I’m not sure if Hornacek is necessarily the greatest of fits.
Let’s take a look.
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Hornacek does have some head coaching experience and all it has been with the Phoenix Suns, the team that drafted him and where he spent six seasons as a player from 1986-92.
Before then, he was on the Utah Jazz’s bench with Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson, the team where he spent the final six seasons of his playing career from 1994-00.
In 2013-14, where he earned a 48-34 record, barely missing the playoffs, his team had been ranked 8th in offensive efficiency (107.1 points per 100 possessions) and 13th in defensive efficiency (103.8 points per 100).
But after that season, we all witnessed a free-fall in production and that wasn’t necessarily his fault as the injuries of his star players proved to be insurmountable.
Subsequently, after two and half seasons on the bench with the Suns, he was fired 49 games into the season.
Space City Scoop
I’ve always admired Hornacek for his gritty, hard-nosed style of play and his high-regard for family values.
Lest we not forget, the man took off for 10 years after he retired to ensure he’d see his kids grow up and not be away as a result of the rigors of travel in the Association.
Remember when he used to notoriously rub his right cheek before he’d shoot a free throw?
Yes, that was for the adoration his kids.
But as much as I loved to hate the Jazz as they were the Rockets’ familiar foe of the postseason back in 1990s, I think Hornacek will turn out to be a fine coach as his experience continues to build.
In my opinion, he just doesn’t seem suited for the egos that he’ll have deal with as far as coaching this team.
I think he needs a young team that’s hungry and where he can leave an imprint on the work that he has put together to build them into a winner.
The Rockets should do their due diligence and interview him but I don’t he should be at the top of our list.
We’ll have to see how this plays out.
Hornacek, 53, posted a 101-112 record in two and half seasons as head coach of the Suns.