In a much, much more shocking revelation, it appears the Rockets are interested in bringing about Kenny Smith, he of no head coaching experience and current star of a reality show about his family (don't the Rockets have enough experience with that already?).
And it's not like this is a weird ClutchFans forum post or Hoops Rumor web of bullshit. Mark Berman reported it today.
I mean, what?!?!
Not only have there been no whispers at all of Smith even having any interest in coaching — let alone any ability or experience — but why are Daryl Morey and Les Alexander taking interviews with talking heads who I doubt anyone else is talking to when FRANK VOGEL IS STILL A FREE AGENT. Vogel has a track record of success, particularly on the defensive end. He would be a dream hire. And yet, there will be Kenny Smith, drinking cocktails with umbrellas in them with Les and Daryl tomorrow in Florida.
The Jet is a Rockets legend. He started on back-to-back NBA title teams. And despite his presence on TNT's sponsored Rockets Bash-a-thon, he's been generally fair with the Rockets as Shaq and, especially, Charles Barkley have railed, unchallenged, against Houston's team.
The fact is, we don't know if Kenny can coach. Mark Jackson is an obvious comparison to draw, but Jackson had a far more cerebral reputation as a player, and he was sitting next to Jeff Van Gundy in NBA arenas for years. That's a different kind of coaching education than being subjected to the hot air that comes out of Kenny's co-hosts on a weekly basis.
I'm still all-in for Vogel, and I don't think Jeff Van Gundy would be a horrible hire, just not a great one. Dave Joerger is now off the board and coaching for Sacramento. Tom Thibodeau, Luke Walton and Scott Brooks are also taken.
I think David Blatt is a good coach, but his personality clashed with LeBron James — apparently Blatt thinks too highly of himself for a coach with a very short NBA track record — and I don't want to know what that means in the same locker room as James Harden. But he has had success in basketball in multiple places.
The Rockets could still opt to go in-house with Chris Finch, Mike D'Antoni, whom they've already interviewed, Vinny Del Negro or some college coaches. The most likely scenario remains JVG, but the presence of Kenny Smith on the current list makes me think the Rockets have less of an idea of what they're doing than one would hope at this stage of the process.
UPDATE: Jonathan Feigen tweeted out literally seconds after I wrote this story that Jeff Hornacek will also be interviewed tomorrow. He's an intriguing candidate in that he got a team to play great than the sum of his parts for one season, then watched it collapse in epic fashion for another season and a half before he got the hook. In my personal coach preference rankings, I'd put him below Vogel and JVG, above D'Antoni, Blatt and Finch.