The Houston Rockets have offered their head coaching position to Kevin McHale, and I suppose it's a little ironic that just yesterday I questioned the delay in making an offer. Now, however, Houston has played its hand. There are no more rumors or reports to be analyzed and studied. For better or for worse, the Rockets officially want McHale to coach the team.
As Adrian Wojnarowski points out in two tweets, it's not quite a done deal just yet:
Houston has offered Kevin McHale coaching job and are in advanced talks on a deal, sources tell Y! Agreement may not come til after weekend. There's no guarantee terms will be agreed upon with McHale, but sources believe both sides are determined to make it happen.
Over the past few days and in thinking about what Kevin McHale could bring to the Rockets, I've regressed from my original Rapture-induced labeling of McHale as the anti-Coach. He certainly won't cause us to forget Rick Adelman, proprietor of a magic touch that could lead a team full of duck-billed platypuses a forty-win season. That's not what McHale will do if he is indeed hired.
Instead, however, I'm content with the fact that in handing the job to McHale, the Rockets will have finally settled for a direction. Originally, I questioned hiring McHale to lead a team through a rebuilding mode, but the more I've thought about it, he just might be the perfect man for that specific job. Let's face it: rebuilding requires some losing. McHale wasn't brought in to lose games, but if the Rockets indeed want to go with youth, they simply won't be good enough to have the same brand of underdog success that they had with Adelman at the helm.
Put it this way: Adelman sucked the bulk of that roster dry. He got the very most out of the better players while essentially ignoring the younger projects. On the other hand, I can see McHale coming in and re-juicing the roster. My guess is that he'll be more inclined to play the younger players and give them a shot to develop. McHale isn't the skilled tactician that Adelman is, but I can only assume that based on experience alone he'll be able to properly and patiently work with the younger big men and the remaining developmental players on the roster (i.e. Courtney Lee and Chase Budinger, plus our eventual draft pick). That should be a nice change of pace for a rebuilding team.
Adelman coached for wins, as anyone should, but McHale isn't here to win right away. If he is to join the organization, I think he will be doing so under the impression that the time is not now, but instead in a few years. So long as he and the Rockets front office are in agreement in this regard, perhaps the Rockets will have finally found the "direction" that for so long they have lacked.
More to come as details unfold.
UPDATE (11:05 am): Richard Justice just barged into the party with this tweet:
Kevin McHale's deal with the Rockets is three years plus a team option. Has been agreed to pending agreement on coaching staff.