Is Sam Cassell the right head coach for the Houston Rockets?
By Zachary Allen
After the departure of Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets are in search of a new head coach. Is Sam Cassell just the man for the job?
Recently, Mike D’ Antoni informed the Houston Rockets that he will not be coming back next season. Reports now suggest that the team and Sam Cassell have a mutual interest when it comes to filling the position. Cassell, of course, was a member of “Clutch City,” a team that went back-to-back in 1994-1995.
Cassell got his first start at assistant coach in 2009 with the Washington Wizards under head coach Flip Saunders. As an assistant coach, Cassell was a mentor to point guard John Wall. Cassell had the criteria to be a mentor because of his former career as an NBA player.
In Cassell’s career, he had three championships, made an NBA All-Star game after being in the league for 11 years, and scored 15, 635 points, which gave him an average of 15.7 points per game. When it comes to basketball, Cassell is no scrub.
After serving five years with the Wizards, Cassell went to coach under his former head coach, Doc Rivers. Cassel won his last championship with Doc in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and The Big Three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. In Cassell’s Clipper tenure, he has served under Doc for six years. Doc had nothing but great things to say about Cassell becoming a head coach.
“Sam Cassell should be a head coach, period. He’s got an incredibly high basketball IQ, and I just hope he gets a shot. When they talk about paying dues, he’s paid every due that is possible and he’s yet to get a job. So, I’m hoping that happens.”
Sam Cassell’s fit on the Houston Rockets
The main positive for Cassell’s case is his compatibility with James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Honestly, Cassell could be what Westbrook needs when it comes to his shooting struggles. In 2014, John Wall told Sports Illustrated’s Molly Gary that Cassell helped him overcome his shooting struggles.
“He was a big part of it,” Wall told CSN Washington. “Definitely helped me with my jump shot. Just being a mentor, somebody who was a point guard who knew the game very well. It was big.”
From the 2012-13 season to the following one, Wall’s shooting percentage went from 26.7 percent to 35.1 percent. Wall also became an NBA All-Star that season.
Cassell’s basketball IQ and knowledge could help Harden and Westbrook become more consistent throughout the season. He was a big reason Wall and Beal had success together in Washington.
Hopefully, Cassell could do the same thing with Westbrook and Harden in Houston if he gets the job.