May 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale reacts after a play during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets are viewing head coach Kevin McHale as a major part in pitching to Dwight Howard the idea of signing with the Rockets. Howard will be able to officially talk, visit, and negotiation with other teams on July 1 when he becomes a free agent.
Why is Kevin McHale off limits to Celts in their coaching search? One reason, I’m told: Rockets see McHale as a key to Dwight Howard pitch
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2013
After the Doc Rivers move from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers became public, there was speculation that the Celtics would talk to McHale about possibly taking their open position. However, it looks like Boston wants to look for younger candidates, even with McHale’s rich history with the organization.
McHale would be the final piece of the puzzle for Howard to want to make the move; he’s somebody who Howard has lots of respect for, and can teach and develop his low post game. He also showed last season that he is able to work with his young players to develop them, and put them in the best positions to get the most out of them, something that perhaps, Howard has not had as a coach. Mike D’Antoni has a known reputation of not wanting to concede, adjust, or change his strategies; as did Stan Van Gundy.
The idea of playing for a more player-type coach who gives his players more freedom offensively could be a major factor for Howard’s decision.