McHale Leader for Rockets Coaching Job

by May 21, 2011

by Ryne Nelson

The Rockets may soon have themselves a new head coach for next season.

Sources tell Yahoo! that McHale made a strong impression with Houston officials on Thursday, and could receive a job offer next week.

With a strong, late push in the search process, Kevin McHale has emerged as the frontrunner for the Houston Rockets coaching vacancy, multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Saturday. Kevin McHale, who currently is an analyst for TNT, could soon be back on the court as a head coach.

No final decision has officially been reached, nor are contract negotiations underway, but McHale has clearly separated himself from Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, sources said. McHale made a strong final impression in conversations with Houston officials on Thursday in Chicago, and could receive a formal offer in the next week.

The Rockets are still deliberating on different scenarios involving the three finalists, sources say, but McHale is the candidate to beat for the job. Rockets owner Les Alexander must still ultimately sign off on the recommendation of GM Daryl Morey and his front office staff.

It will be interesting to see how McHale meshes with a decidedly different organization—one lead by the nontraditional Daryl Morey. It probably won’t matter much to McHale. He seems anxious make the best of what he’s got.