May 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale laughs before game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
With the Philadelphia 76ers announcement of hiring Houston Rockets executive Sam Hinkie as their new president of basketball operations and general manager, the Rockets lose a key contributor in their front office. Hinkie spent the past eight seasons with the Rockets and his work has been huge for Houston’s player management decisions.
The Rockets front office are known around the league with their use of analytics and advanced stats to measure players, and Hinkie played a big part in that. He was a pioneer of analytics, and had a huge role in the Rockets’ use of SportVU, a program that tracks players at all times.
It will be very difficult for the Rockets to fill the void left by HInkie in their front office, but his hiring shows that management is gaining league-wide recognition. Not only has Hinkie now been swayed away, but Kelvin Sampson is being pursued by a number of teams as a head coaching candidate. J.B. Bickerstaff has also interviewed with a number of NBA teams as a potential head coach.
This proves that the Rockets front office is doing something right to be garnering so much attention and recognition from other organizations. We’ll see who fills the void left by Hinkie.