Kevin McHale, the former Houston Rockets coach, has emerged as the frontrunner to take over Sacramento Kings’ vacant head coaching position, according to league sources.
ESPN’s Mark Stein revealed Monday that McHale and the Kings front office have already engaged in exploratory talks and could come to an agreement in the near future. Sacramento are without a coach after firing George Karl at the end of the regular season, which saw them win 33 games.
Stein wrote: “Sources told ESPN.com that Kings general manager Vlade Divac, while still in the early stages of what is expected to be a broad search, has sounded out McHale about his potential interest after the former Houston Rockets coach was fired just 11 games into the current season.”
Kevin McHale: Right for the job?
A year after guiding Houston Rockets to the Conference Finals, McHale was shockingly fired just 11 games into the just-concluded regular season. At the time of his dismissal, McHale was into the first year of a three-year contract extension. Though the Rockets never offered a clear explanation, there were murmurs that McHale had a falling out with superstar James Harden. Does McHale want to be dealing with DeMarcus Cousins, next?
Cousins is undeniably the most dominant big man in the game today. However, the Kings center has been held largely responsible for the Kings sacking as many as five coaches since drafting Cousins back in 2011. If McHale joins Sac-Town, his first task would be to form a cordial relationship with Cousins. A hall-of-famer and Celtics legend, McHale could prove to be the right man for the job. Cousins already has polished post moves but he could learn a lot from McHale – regarded as top-5 greatest power forwards in NBA history.
Other options for Kings…
According to Stein, former Minnesota Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell is the only candidate who has met with the Kings, thus far. In the coming week, former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is also scheduled to meet with Vlade Divac & Co.
Besides Mitchell and Del Negro, the Kings are also interested in former Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson besides former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson. They have also expressed interest in Indiana Pacers assistant coach Nate McMillan and former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.
However, McHale’s admiration for Cousins’ game and his successful stint with the Rockets could prove to be the clincher. Is Kevin McHale the right man to coach the Kings?