For years, the Houston Rockets found themselves in the shackles of mediocrity, as they weren't good enough to make a legitimate postseason run, but also weren't bad enough to land a prized lottery talent in the NBA Draft. The Rockets ultimately hired Kevin McHale, in an attempt to take a leap and ascend into the league's tier of contenders.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey traded for James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder, aa the Rockets lacked a quintessential star player and hoped Harden could morph into a franchise cornerstone.
McHale and Harden reached the postseason as the eighth seed in the Western Conference in their first season together with a 45-37 record in 2012-13 and were even better in their second season (54-28 and fourth in the West).
The McHale-led Rockets reached the Western Conference Finals in 2014-15 with a 56-26 record and the second seed in the West.
However, it wasn't all peachy between Harden and McHale, as the two butted heads quite regularly, which ultimately led to his ouster while the 2015-16 season was underway.
Afterwards, McHale detailed the conversations that took place between him, Morey, and former owner Les Alexander, in which he was told that it would be easier to replace him than it would’ve been to replace Harden.
Former Rockets coach turns heads with surprising regret.
But just because his relationship with Harden led to his dismissal doesn't mean that McHale has any regrets regarding how it all went down. In fact, McHale was asked about his most regrettable moments throughout his career and he cited his clothesline on Kurt Rambis in 1984, during his playing days, in a recent appearance on the Cedric Maxwell Podcast.
And even that wasn’t quite what one would expect.
“My only regret, honestly, is that it wasn’t Worthy or Magic or someone better. It just happened to be Kurt Rambis. I was just like, no layups. Whatever happens, there’s not going to be a layup.”
Based on McHale’s candor regarding what has been viewed as a dirty incident, we shouldn’t expect him to harbor any regrets regarding what happened with Harden during his coaching career. Especially based on his recent statements regarding Harden.