NBA Rumor: Rockets Coaching Search

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Jeff Van Gundy was the early frontrunner to become the next Rockets coach. Brian Windhorst of ESPN: I think circumstances have changed. Many people think John Lucas, the longtime assistant there who hasn’t been a head coach in the league in 18 years, has a chance here. And part of that is his relationship with the players and his relationship with Rafael Stone, who was just named general manager. So, while there are other candidates, including Stephen Silas, I would say today that my guess is it’s going to be John Lucas.

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Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue’s candidacy for the Rockets’ head-coaching job has gathered significant momentum after a meeting with Houston’s ownership and management Monday, sources told ESPN. The Rockets are competing with the Clippers for Lue and could try to extend an offer before Los Angeles has completed its search process, but that isn’t expected to happen before Houston meets with former coach Jeff Van Gundy this week, sources said.

Van Gundy, currently an analyst for ESPN, has been a favorite of Rockets ownership and management, and he is known to prefer the idea of coaching in his adopted home city to avoid uprooting his family. Van Gundy, 58, has been active as a coach with USA Basketball in recent years, but he hasn’t coached in the NBA since resigning with the Rockets in 2007. Van Gundy was 430-318 in the regular season and 44-44 in the postseasons in parts of 11 seasons with Rockets and Knicks.

The Rockets moved their coaching search to the former head coach portion of the process, a person with knowledge of the effort to choose a successor said on Monday. Team officials have met with their director of player development John Lucas before Monday’s interviews with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, the individual said, adding that the Rockets also expect to meet with their former head coach Jeff Van Gundy now that his broadcasting duties for ABC/ESPN are complete for the season.

Wes Unseld Jr. interviews for Rockets and Clippers coaching jobs

After five seasons in Denver, where Unseld Jr. helped transform the Nuggets from a middling defensive team to one that finished 10th in defensive rating last season, Malone’s top assistant is in the running for at least two jobs. Unseld Jr. has already interviewed for the Houston Rockets head coaching vacancy and was scheduled to interview for the Los Angeles Clippers job on Thursday, a league source told The Denver Post.

Clippers to interview Wes Unseld Jr for head coaching job

After five seasons in Denver, where Wes Unseld Jr. helped transform the Nuggets from a middling defensive team to one that finished 10th in defensive rating last season, Malone’s top assistant is in the running for at least two jobs. Unseld Jr. has already interviewed for the Houston Rockets head coaching vacancy and was scheduled to interview for the Los Angeles Clippers job on Thursday, a league source told The Denver Post.

Can ‘Sam I Am’ the guard whisperer work his magic in Clutch City? The more I hear about Cassell — either from players or folks around the league — the more a fit makes sense. Jovan’s description only strengthens that stance, looking at the main points of his analysis and identifying what Houston needs. Cassell would be a first-time head coach should he accept the job, but it’s hard to argue the fit. For those that walk the storyline/narrative route, you’d be bringing back an influential guard who was a part of the most successful era in team history. The Steve Nash hire in Brooklyn raised a few eyebrows, but the knowledge of the game is there, the experience is there, the savviness is there. Cassell possesses all of those qualities in spades. For the sheer ‘prodigal son’ championship feel, I’d have a hard time believing ownership wouldn’t be jumping at that opportunity.

Mike D’Antoni is out as head coach of the Rockets. You’ve been petitioning for your former teammate Sam Cassell to replace him. What about Cassell makes you think he’s the best option? Vernon Maxwell: I just feel like it’s his time. He’s been on the bench as an assistant coach for 15 years [Cassell started coaching in 2009]. I get tired of these owners and general managers, they just recycle all these goddamn coaches. You’ve gotta try something new. You’ve gotta give them a chance to see what they can do, and I don’t think that’s fair to guys like Sam. They need to give him a chance and a legit shot. Let him bring in his people that he wants and I think he’ll do fine. He’s ready now.
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October 23, 2020 | 7:36 pm EDT Update
Revenue projections for the league this season were missed by about $1.5 billion, the person said. The losses were the result of a combination of factors — the shutdown caused by the pandemic, the cancelation of 171 regular-season games, completing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World without fans, the nearly $200 million price tag for operating that bubble and a yearlong rift with the Chinese government that saw NBA games not shown on state television there.
Storyline: Coronavirus
No decisions have been finalized on next season and talks with the National Basketball Players Association remain ongoing on many matters, including the financial parameters for the coming year. Those talks, especially on the money issue, would have to be concluded before any real decisions about next season are made. The NBPA has not made any final decisions on how it wants to see the league proceed, either. But this plan, starting in December and ending in June, would get the 2021-22 season — virus-permitting — back to normal, with 82-game slates starting in October.
The Golden 1 Center is one of 18 vote center locations opening Saturday, October 24. It will be the largest vote center in Sacramento County. “Yeah. We really think Golden 1 Center is the center hub for Sacramento County and our region. More than just basketball and events, and this is really one of those true examples of that where this building is going to be the center of our county for one of the most important days that we have in our history,” said John Rinehart, Sacramento Kings President of Business Operations.