Rumor Frank Vogel may be released by Indiana should vault him up the Houston Rockets head coach candidate list.
Mike D’Antoni has evidently been interviewed as has Sam Cassell. Apparently the Rockets intend to interview between 10 and 15 people for the position.
When J.B. Bickerstaff pulled his name from consideration, expectations were he saw the chances of the Houston Rockets removing the “interim” tag from his name was unlikely to occur. However, now reports are surfacing that he had no desire to return to the toxic environment of the Rockets locker room where getting his team to play defense was only a small piece of the puzzle.
Earlier SCS followed up on The Chronicle report by Jonathan Feigen that Bickerstaff had pulled his name from consideration as well as some of the candidates the team was pursuing. At the time, it seemed impossible that Frank Vogel would be available, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo’s The Vertical has given pause to that thought.
Woj says Larry Bird will be holding his end of season interview on Thursday, May 6th and the fact he’s yet to speak with Vogel about negotiating a new deal is telling:
"Coach Frank Vogel’s contract has expired now that the Pacers’ season has ended, league sources said, and president Larry Bird has left many around the league, including Vogel, with the belief that a coaching change could be coming soon. : Indiana Pacers"
What Vogel did in the first round versus the Toronto Raptors was nothing short of spectacular. He planted seeds regarding DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry getting unfair advantages from the officials prior to them even stepping on the court. That served to help the Pacers take the first game when Monta Ellis, Paul George and George Hill all got “those type of calls” whereas the Raptors backcourt weren’t given the same leeway.
Sources say Houston will also talk to Frank Vogel as well as part of a Kings-style broad search if the Pacers let Vogel go as many expect.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 5, 2016
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Because Vogel is known as the “smash mouth” defensive coach the Pacers were allowed to hold and foul throughout the series. The fact is the Pacers have gained that reputation of being a defensive team and come the playoffs that’s an advantage any team can use.
Certainly if Vogel does end up on the unemployment line, I’d say the Rockets should give him strong consideration as he is a master of defensive strategy and doesn’t suffer fools!
Also in Woj’s article was news the Rockets had already interviewed former Rocket Sam Cassell and Mike D’Antoni. He also notes Houston has set meetings with Jeff Hornacek and Hornets associate coach Stephen Silas.
Make sure you check out Space City Scoops end of season Rockets Round Table: