The NBA world was taken by surprise Wednesday when the Houston Rockets announced they were parting ways with head coach Kevin McHale, whose team was off to an agonizing 4-7 start to the 2015-16 season. This comes after the Rockets made it to the Western Conference Finals last year, but lost to the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.
Perhaps one of the more surprised people inside the NBA was none other than Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who gave his thoughts on Houston’s decision in an interview with the Star-Telegram.
“It’s preposterous,” Carlisle said. “I’m really shocked. It’s just hard to believe that something like that could happen at this stage. The guy took the team unexpectedly to the Conference finals last year, and to have this happen after 11 games, preposterous is the only word that I can come up with.”
Mavs forward Chandler Parsons, who spent the first three seasons of his NBA career under McHale in Houston, also discussed his surprise with the news, especially given the extension McHale signed last December.
“He’s one of the best human beings I ever met, so I feel terrible for him. Six months ago they’re in the conference finals and a year ago he signed an extension. I’m not really sure why (McHale got fired), but obviously they’re struggling a little bit, but it’s hard to think all of that is his fault.”
However, according to Houston Chronicle, McHale himself wasn’t all that shocked by the decision, citing the frequency of meetings he had this season alone.
“We were starting to address some of the issues that were the reason I was let go,” McHale said. “We just weren’t playing with any juice, with any rhythm. We haven’t been able to get the problems solved.
“We probably had more meetings in last six weeks than in my previous four years here.
“It wasn’t working.”
Rockets general manager Darryl Morey described the reasoning behind firing McHale, and stated that the team wasn’t responding to his coaching, and cited the double-digit losses the Rockets suffered to both Golden State and Denver early in the season.