Brett Gunning Rumors
Former Rockets assistant coach Brett Gunning on Friday began working with Rockets players on an informal, unofficial basis, a person with knowledge of his work with the team said. Gunning will not be added officially to the Rockets coaching staff because it is so late in the season with just 11 games remaining, but is considered a top assistant coach who was a candidate to join the Rockets staff last off-season before opting to remain with the Orlando Magic. Gunning left the Magic and returned to Houston when Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn was fired last month.
Orlando will consider his possible hiring during the All-Star break next week, or could possibly wait until season’s end and do an extended search. Nevertheless, the firing of three assistant coaches Thursday – Wes Unseld Jr., Brett Gunning and Zack Guthrie – as reported by the Orlando Sentinel, suggests a new head coach could come sooner than later.
The Magic have hired Brett Gunning to join head coach Jacque’s Vaughn’s staff as an assistant coach, a league source tells the Sentinel. Gunning spent the last four seasons with the Houston Rockets, including last season as an assistant coach. He served as the team’s director of player development the previous three seasons.
The Rockets made Kevin McHale’s coaching staff selections official on Friday, with Kelvin Sampson named his lead assistant. J.B. Bickerstaff was hired as an assistant coach with Rockets director of player development Brett Gunning promoted to an assistant coach position. Chris Finch had been promoted from the head coaching position with the Rockets NBA Development League team and worked with the Rockets prior to the draft and with players following the draft. Sampson had been an assistant with the Bucks for three seasons and Bickerstaff had been an assistant with the Timberwolves for four seasons, including during McHale’s second stint as Timberwolves coach. “I’m thrilled to have these men on my coaching staff,” McHale said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have a very qualified and well-respected group of coaches on staff who will be committed to winning and helping our players reach their full potential.
The Houston Rockets have officially announced the additions of four assistants to Kevin McHale’s staff, including former college coach Kelvin Sampson. McHale was hired June 1 to replace Rick Adelman. J.B. Bickerstaff, Chris Finch and Brett Gunning will join the staff, along with Sampson, who will serve as McHale’s lead assistant. Sampson has worked as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks for the past three seasons. Bickerstaff, the son of former NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, has been an assistant in Minnesota since 2007.