Report: Kevin McHale to coach Rockets
The Houston Rockets have reached agreement on a contract for Kevin McHale to become their new coach, Yahoo! Sports is reporting.
ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher confirmed Friday that McHale had been offered the job. The Associated Press reported the Rockets and McHale were still in negotiations, citing a source familiar with the situation.
After interviewing numerous coaches in their search to replace Rick Adelman, the Rockets narrowed their focus to McHale, who worked as an analyst for TNT this season, Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank and Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, according to sources.
McHale, formerly the Minnesota Timberwolves' general manager, was 39-55 in two stints as the Wolves' interim coach. He was 19-12 after taking over for Flip Saunders in the 2004-05 season and posted a 20-43 mark after replacing Randy Wittman for the final 63 games in the 2008-09 season.
McHale's time as an executive in Minnesota was highlighted by drafting Kevin Garnett out of high school in 1995. Other moves and draft decisions didn't go over as well with fans and he began to draw criticism.
Houston has missed the playoffs the last two years as it dealt with injuries that have limited All-Star center Yao Ming to just five games since the 2008-09 season. That year, Houston reached the Western Conference semifinals, breaking a streak of seven consecutive first-round exits for the franchise.
Yao's contract expires this summer, but he has said he hopes to continue playing for the Rockets when he recovers from the stress fracture to his left ankle.
McHale was the third overall pick in the 1980 draft, won three championships with the Celtics and was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time in 1996.
Information from ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.