Marc J. Spears: Grizzlies assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik interviewed with Grizzlies about their coach opening yesterday before talking to the Rockets today.
Marc Stein: NBA coaching sources say all signs continue to point to the Rockets hiring leading candidate Mike D'Antoni as their coach in the near future.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say that the Houston Rockets today interviewed Toronto Raptors assistant coach Rex Kalamian for their head coaching vacancy.
Jonathan Feigen: Can now confirm @Marc Stein report that the Rockets have interviewed Rex Kalamian, longtime OKC assistant now with Toronto.
Marc Stein: Like Houston's interest in Charlotte's Stephen Silas, today's visit with Rex Kalamian was head coach-specific but also with an eye to the future.
Jonathan Feigen: Interview w/ Silas is about head coaching job, source said. But Rockets have found a top asst (Sampson) in a head coaching interview before.
While this is considered an interview for the head-coaching job, Silas isn’t the top assistant in Charlotte, and the Rockets could make a play to hire Silas to join D’Antoni as his top assistant, sources said.
Ken Berger: If Houston and D'Antoni reach a deal, assumption in league circles is Dwight Howard's days in Houston are over. Did not get along in LA.
Ken Berger: Nothing official yet, but "looking good" for a Rockets-Mike D'Antoni partnership, league source says.
Marc Stein: It should be noted that David Blatt remains up for the head coaching job in Houston, where Mike D'Antoni is regarded as a leading candidate.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As Rockets move toward formal offer to Mike D'Antoni, organization working to shape strong staff around him, sources tell @The Vertical.
Mike D'Antoni, the architect of the Phoenix Suns' celebrated high-paced and high-scoring offense a decade ago, has emerged as a favorite for the Rockets' coaching position, two individuals with know-ledge of the team's thinking said on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the process.
Another individual with knowledge of the team's thinking said there are two other coaches who can be also be considered top contenders for the position.
Mike D'Antoni's candidacy for the Houston Rockets' coaching job is gaining momentum, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that D'Antoni has emerged as a leading candidate for the post, having impressed Rockets owner Leslie Alexander in multiple conversations since the search began. Alexander vowed to ESPN last month during the playoffs that he would take a more active role in this coaching search than he has in the past.
Adam Wexler: Can confirm Jeff Van Gundy is no longer a candidate for #Rockets head coaching position. "I never talked to them. Thought I would, but didn't happen," Van Gundy said via text. "Contrary to others opinions, it's a good job and Harden is great. The choices they are pursuing are all really good choices." @KPRC2
Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Mike D’Antoni has emerged as a frontrunner in the process, and the Rockets have been gauging possible top assistant coaches for D’Antoni’s potential coaching staff, league sources said.
There had been significant support within the Rockets’ front office for a reunion with Van Gundy, but it became apparent that owner Leslie Alexander was uncertain about restoring the partnership, league sources said.
Veteran NBA coach Mike D'Antoni has landed a second interview with Houston and is an increasingly serious candidate for the Rockets' coaching vacancy, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that D'Antoni, who is currently serving as associate head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, was summoned for a second sit-down with the club -- this time face-to-face with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander -- after impressing in his first interview.
Sources say Jeff Van Gundy has received strong support from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to make a return to Houston for a second stint as the team's coach, but they maintain that Alexander has yet to be fully sold on a reunion with the ESPN analyst, who has been working in television since the sides parted ways in May 2007.
Marc J. Spears: Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina interviewed for the Rockets' head coach opening last Saturday, a source said.
Veteran NBA coach Mike D'Antoni has landed a second interview with Houston and is an increasingly serious candidate for the Rockets' coaching vacancy, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that D'Antoni, currently serving as associate head coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, was summoned for a second sit-down with the club -- this time face-to-face with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander -- after impressing in his first interview. The Rockets, sources say, would seek to hire a coach with strong defensive credentials, to essentially serve as D'Antoni's defensive coordinator, if talks progress to a serious stage and D'Antoni eventually emerges as Houston's choice to replace Kevin McHale and interim successor J.B. Bickerstaff.
Sources say Jeff Van Gundy has received strong support from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to make a return to Houston for a second stint as the team's coach, but also maintain that Alexander has yet to be fully sold on a reunion with the ESPN analyst, who has been working in television since the sides parted ways in May 2007.
The former Rockets point guard discussed his interview with Houston during TNT’s pregame show Monday prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. “Some of the information is sensitive … but we met,” Smith said. “Then after we met, I had great talks with (team owner) Les Alexander afterwards for a couple of days. We corresponded. “The Rockets have a philosophy of what they think their coach should be. Right now, I’m here and it looks like I’m going to be here. And that’s great.”
Mark Berman: Kenny Smith is no longer involved in the Rockets coaching search, but really appreciates getting the chance to talk with owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey about the job: "The process has been great. It's been a great opportunity. I had several calls with Les Alexander. I met with him once and we talked on several occasions. It was a great process, and I wish the Rockets the best. Right now it just looks like the fit doesn't work."
Mark Berman: Kenny Smith said it meant a lot that the Rockets reached out to him about their vacant head coaching position: "It was great. I know that I'm more than capable of managing a team, more than capable of coaching a team. I audition every night without trying to by being on television. It was great that (Rockets owner Leslie Alexander) recognized that this year. When you get a chance to talk with people at that length you get to know even more about them that I didn't even know as a player. It was a great opportunity."
Mark Berman: Kenny Smith is no longer involved in the Rockets search for their next head coach. He called it a great opportunity to interview for the job: "I will be a head coach in the NBA some day. Never underestimate the heart of a champion."
Former Rockets guard Kenny Smith will no longer be a candidate to be Rockets head coach, a person with knowledge of the decision said Monday on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the process. Smith was described as very impressive and likely to become an NBA head coach if he pursues it, the individual familiar with the decision-making said, but the Rockets will shift their focus to experienced head coaches and extremely experienced assistants.
Calvin Watkins: Rockets don't have any finalists yet but source said the team was impressed with Kenny Smith during the interview process and believe he'll become a head coach one day. Team wants a head coach with experience.
Jonathan Feigen: Second interviews could come by end of the week, source said. Frank Vogel and Ettore Messina "part of process." Can't say if have interviewed.
David Medrano: Got a gut feeling it's Jeff Van Gundy or bust. Any idea if his job as an analyst is the hold up? Messina willing to come on as OC? - Jonathan Feigen: They have not met with Jeff Van Gundy, but they are interested, source said. Hold-up is just to get to know others first.
#BringKennyBack was trending for a while in Houston Friday morning/afternoon. When you clicked the hashtag you saw that it was filled with love for former Rockets point guard Kenny "The Jet" Smith. Then there was word of a rally at Toyota Center So, I'm not doing anything Friday afternoon. Why not check out and see why on earth people would have a Kenny Smith rally? Don't these people understand the Jet has as likely a chance at becoming head coach as one of them? Going into it thinking this would be some kind of joke or farce, color me surprised: there was actually a pretty decent turnout.
Gery Woelfel: Source says Jeff Van Gundy remains a finalist and, may indeed be the frontrunner, for Rockets coaching position.
Former Rockets guard Kenny Smith, who is an NBA analyst with TNT and a candidate to become the next head coach of the Rockets, said he had “a great meeting” with team officials on Tuesday. Smith told FOX 26 Sports he met with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey for 2 1/2 to three hours at Alexander’s home in South Florida.
Mark Berman: Kenny Smith, candidate to be next head coach of Rockets said he had "great meeting" w/Leslie Alexander & Daryl Morey. tinyurl.com/gqymu8s
Mark Berman: Kenny Smith says the Rockets "have a clear vision of what they want to do." https://t.co/n3G2IcqbHh
Jeff Hornacek and Kenny Smith interviewed for the Houston Rockets job today according to a source. More interviews are being planned with other candidates.
Calvin Watkins: The Houston Rockets, who are in the middle of a coaching search, have yet to present any of the candidates to star guard James Harden according to a source. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said they would talk to Harden during the coaching search and free agency process.
Calvin Watkins: It appears in the early stages the organization has yet to talk to Harden. But there's a feeling they will at some point before a final decision is made. The Rockets have spoken to at least seven candidates about the coaching job.
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm the #Rockets are interviewing former Cavaliers Coach David Blatt today. First reported by @Marc Stein
Jonathan Feigen: Can confirm that David Blatt is meeting with Daryl Morey and Leslie Alexander today. Jeff Hornacek and Kenny Smith tomorrow.
Mark Berman: NBA sources: #Rockets will interview former Rockets star Kenny Smith (@Kenny Smith) in South Florida Tuesday https://t.co/FtziQLa3NZ
Marc Stein: NBA coaching sources say former Cavaliers coach David Blatt is interviewing with Houston today for the Rockets' coaching vacancy
Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt is interviewing Monday for the Houston Rockets' vacancy, according to league sources.
Sacramento has taken the pragmatic, plodding approach to its coaching search, the Kings’ list of known candidates in the double digits and very little clarity about who might be in the lead, but Joerger is clearly a person of great interest now. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Kings have made Joerger a top priority in their search and appear motivated to get a deal done. Joerger, who is attracted not only to the job itself but to the area, is deliberating it all in the wake of the Grizzlies move that caught him by surprise in timing alone. He is also receiving consideration from the Houston Rockets, and that interest - however strong - is mutual as well. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the fluid nature of the situation.
David Aldridge: Kings' pursuit of Joerger is strong, but he will wait until Rockets can put a potential package together. Pacers could be in mix, too.
Ken Berger: Joerger immediately becomes a candidate for other openings, especially Houston and Indiana, league sources say.
The Houston Rockets have scheduled interviews with former Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek and Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Stephen Silas, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
The Rockets have scheduled a meeting with former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, a person with knowledge of the talks said on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the coaching search.
Sources tell ESPN.com that TNT's Kenny Smith, who like Cassell is a former Rockets player, could also land an interview. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander remains close to many players from the team's highly successful Clutch City era, which delivered two championships, and holds them in high esteem. "I've always said anything basketball is me," Smith said Wednesday night on TNT when asked by Charles Barkley if he would be interested in the Rockets job. "And this is basketball. I enjoy being here. This is me."
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Sixers associate head coach Mike D'Antoni is interviewing for the Houston Rockets' coaching job this week
Calvin Watkins: Former Rockets guard and current Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell interviewed for the gig along with Rockets asst. coach Chris Finch.
Marc Stein: Can't speak to the NBA aspirations of either one, but sources say two college coaches who intrigue the Rockets are Shaka Smart and Bill Self
Former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy remains prominent on the organization’s list of candidates, league sources said.
Among the NBA candidates with whom the Rockets are working to set up interviews are former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek and Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, league sources said. There could be 10-15 – perhaps even more – candidates interviewed in the process, league sources said.
That likely will be only the start. Morey disputed the depiction of the Rockets' chemistry problems, saying that they were no greater than is typical when teams play badly and that the chemistry was no worse this season than it was good with the same players last season. But anyone privy to all those team meetings could describe dysfunction that will have to be addressed. Next season's coach will have to demand or inspire that kind of change and likely will have to convince Morey, Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and CEO Tad Brown that he can turn the Rockets into a team built to win in the postseason.
The source also said Lue currently has no interest in any of the current head-coaching vacancies around the league in Houston, New York, Sacramento or the Los Angeles Lakers, the franchise he started his career with as a rookie point guard in 1998-99.
Mark Berman: Daryl Morey says #Rockets will conduct thorough search for head coach & JB Bickerstaff will be "under consideration" https://t.co/5127rksTSx
Mark Berman: Daryl Morey says the #Rockets head coach search will be thorough and "we're not going to do something quickly." https://t.co/CwtQa5y4vB
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm #Rockets received permission from Golden State to interview Warriors assistant Luke Walton.
Sam Amick: As @MarcJSpearsESPN noted, the Rockets (like the Lakers) have received permission to speak with Luke Walton. The Kings, I'm told, have not.
Marc J. Spears: After being eliminated by GSW, Rockets received permission to interview asst. coach Luke Walton for coach job, sources told @TheUndefeated.
Alexander and Morey believe that Harden will play a role in helping to hire a coach and potentially sign free agents. Howard is not expected to have a role.
Ira Winderman: Jeff Van Gundy very much sounding like someone who can fix the Rockets. "Mama, there goes that. . . " next Rockets coach?
The Rockets, sources said, were optimistic as recently as Monday that Brooks would wait until their job is officially open before making any decisions. ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy was the co-favorite with Brooks in Houston.
May 9, 2021 | 9:02 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Luka Doncic got ejected vs. Cavs — flagrant 2 for “an aggressive strike to the groin area” of Collin Sexton. That does not count toward Doncic’s technical total, so it won’t trigger an automatic one-game suspension.
James Ham: According to Luke Walton, he is going to play this season out with the team still mathematically in the postseason chase. He sees value in the team going through the process. Once they are eliminated, they will reassess.
Jason Anderson: Kings coach Luke Walton acknowledges Harrison Barnes (adductor) and De’Aaron Fox (health and safety protocols) might not return this season “if it doesn’t make sense” as the season winds down.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kawhi Leonard said he has to get used to shooting with banged up hand. Asked about his ankle, Kawhi said, “Ankle’s good, it’s just more of me falling on my hand. Second, third play of the game, it’s frustrating, but other than that, I’m good. I’ve been through worse situations”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Andy Miller is joining @Klutch Sports to lead new division of representation for NBA coaches and management, CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. Miller, an ex-player agent responsible for negotiating $2 billion-plus in deals, reps LAC’s Chauncey Billups, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, among others.
May 9, 2021 | 8:34 pm EDT Update
Duane Rankin: Frank Vogel said although it “looks unlikely” that #Lakers will reach top six to avoid play-in tournament, but is looking to give themselves “a chance” to do it. Losing to #Suns tonight certainly won’t help their cause. Talon Horton-Tucker (calf) game-time decision.
Kyle Goon: Frank Vogel says Alex Caruso will play even though his foot is sore. Praises a “gritty, gutty effort” against Portland guarding Damian Lillard and scoring a season high 18 points, says he was “exceptional” against Portland.