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Rockets Coaching Search: McHale Finally Interviews, Is Casey The Frontrunner?

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has a fresh batch of Rockets coaching goodies for us this morning. One bit of news that was nice in a “oh hey, closure!” sort of way was that the Rockets finally interviewed TNT analyst and ex-Timberwolves coach/GM Kevin McHale. I was wondering how exactly he had become a finalist for the job without even an official interview, especially since he was supposed to have been brought in last week. Regardless, glad to see that finally happened.

Now, about those finalists. Dwane Casey, Lawrence Frank, and McHale were reported as your three finalists on Monday. Feigen says that if there is a leader in the pack, it’s likely the Mavericks’ assistant Casey.

I can’t really predict who among the three finalists will emerge as the next Rockets coach. In a list with Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey and Kevin McHale, one name does not seem to belong with the others. Frank and Casey are long-serving assistant coaches now running the defensive end for the Celtics and Mavericks, respectively. Since his Hall of Fame career, most of McHale’s time was in the front office.

Daryl Morey knows him well. They worked together on those joint predraft workouts for several years. He would not be wasting McHale’s time if he was not interested, but it seems strange to have Frank and Casey as finalists for the same job as McHale, who interviewed with Morey on Tuesday. Between Frank and Casey, it is difficult to pick a favorite. Both are greatly respected around the league. Casey might have more player development time in his career so if I have to pick a favorite, I’d guess it would be Casey.

It sure would seem like the Rockets most logical fit would be Casey, who will be interviewing with the Warriors some time soon as well. It’s still strange to see McHale as a candidate, let alone one that the Rockets are taking seriously, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they chose him. Casey should likely be seen as the favorite at this point though. The Rockets job is likely more appealing than the Warriors job, but it would be nice if Houston showed some urgency in getting this whole thing wrapped up just to be safe.

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