In what can only be called some fine investigative reporting, the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen has tracked down the inner workings behind former coach Rick Adelman’s departure. The Rockets tried to force Adelman to take their guy as an assistant in a new contract and Adelman had none of it, standing behind his assistants:
Adelman could have remained the Rockets’ head coach, but was told that the Rockets had decided to hire his successor and put him on Adelman’s coaching staff if he remained, according to two individuals with knowledge of the talks.
Adelman, 64, has long touted lead assistant Elston Turner as ready to lead a team, but the Rockets were not willing to designate Turner as Adelman’s successor, leading to Turner’s decision to turn down an offer to interview for the head coaching position.
There were discussions about adding Rio Grande Valley Vipers coach Chris Finch to the Rockets staff, according to both persons familiar with the talks, but it is unclear if Finch would have been designated as the head coach in waiting.
Well, that certainly explains why Turner turned down the chance to interview for the gig. Very interesting. I wonder what exactly the Rockets didn’t care for about Turner.
This isn’t exactly a scandal, but it has the potential to be seen as a very curious position in the future if the Rockets next coach doesn’t turn out to be a top-of-the-line mastermind. The pressure is on, Daryl Morey.
The Rockets will interview Wizards assistant Sam Cassell and TNT broadcaster Kevin McHale this week. Other interviews will be scheduled pending playoff departures for assistants such as Memphis’ David Joerger, Boston’s Lawrence Frank, and Dallas’ Dwane Casey.