by Sam Prince
Fire First, Ask Questions Later
Um…Houston Rockets. Weren’t you all the 2015 season’s Western Conference two seed? You made the Western Conference Finals only to lose to the eventual champions. So after starting 4-7 your GM fired Coach Kevin McHale? Something isn’t adding up with this situation, and firing Coach McHale seems premature. Did he get the raw end of the deal?
Well, let’s examine this.
First there’s team leadership. Houston’s team leader is James Harden. Harden is a perennial All-Star, and was nearly last season’s MVP. The Rockets’ playoff hopes hinge on his performance. This is the case with most teams in the NBA. They’ll only go as far as their stars take them. Continuing on, I believe an NBA star’s success has a direct relationship with their maturity and stability.
Let’s look at current NBA stars with Championships.
Dwayne Wade- Family Man
LeBron James- Family Man
Steph Curry- Family Man
Tim Duncan- Dedicated Father
Dirk Nowitzki- Married
Chris Bosh- Family Man
Kobe Bryant- Family Man
And then there is…
James Harden- Dating Khloe Kardashian.
The leaders of championship teams are men who have stable lives off the basketball court. This stability allows them to keep their focus on the court, as oppose to on outside personal issues. Dating a Kardashian generally becomes an issue. That is worse than purchasing the Hope Diamond, while screaming “Candy-Man” three times. Who has ever benefitted from being attached to a Kardashian?
Secondly, if the Rockets were disappointed with McHale’s performance enough to fire him, then why did they keep on and promote his assistant J. B. Bickerstaff? Daryl Morey decided to make a regime change but retained Bickerstaff, who has been with McHale for eight years, and has a similar coaching philosophy. That doesn’t make sense.
Morey needed to put a head on a stake, and McHale was the perfect victim. Instead of finding a way through this patch, Morey turned on his coach to take the eyes off of himself. It is a classic misdirection. Morey shook up the Rocket roster by bringing in Ty Lawson who has been underperforming thus far. The blame has to land somewhere. This time it landed on McHale. He’ll get another coaching gig elsewhere soon.