NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Hiring Jeff Hornacek

NBA rumors are swirling around Jeff Hornacek. He’s become one of the hottest head coaching candidates in basketball. Hornacek was fired during the middle of the season. Rather than taking an extended leave, he has decided to get back into the thick of things. According to ESPN, the Houston Rockets are interviewing Hornacek about their vacant head coaching position. The belief is that he has a very good chance at replacing Kevin McHale on a permanent basis.

The Houston Rockets are starting yet another era. Kevin McHale was canned early in the season. Management did not feel that he still had the ears of the players in the locker room. JB Bickerstaff was promoted to interim head coach. He managed to lead the Rockets to the NBA Playoffs. However, that was not good enough to convince Houston to give him the job on a full-time basis. Bickerstaff dropped out of consideration, so the position remained open.

Houston Rockets coach JB Bickerstaff JB Bickerstaff [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]If he does indeed win the job with the Houston Rockets, Jeff Hornacek will be finally be coaching a team that he never played for in the NBA. His first head coaching gig was with the Utah Jazz, the team where he formed a tremendously efficient back court with John Stockton. The Phoenix Suns were the team that originally drafted Hornacek. He was their head coach up until February.

One of the biggest tasks for anyone that takes over as the Houston Rockets head coach is to figure out an offensive system that be built around James Harden. That means that Jeff Hornacek will need to convince his star guard that sharing the ball will result in more victories. At times, Harden seems only interested in scoring. His teammates then start standing around because they know they are not going to receive the ball. Hornacek was one of the most willing passers during his time as an NBA player.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden James Harden [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]Another task that Jeff Hornacek might need to complete for the Houston Rockets is to convince Dwight Howard to stick around. The center is expected to opt out of his contract this summer. The belief is that Howard is going to ask for a maximum contract. Someone in the NBA might be willing to overpay to get a center. If Hornacek can convince Howard to stay in Houston for a lower than expected contract, then he will be worth every penny that the Rockets pay him.

While Jeff Hornacek is considered a favorite to win the Houston Rockets head coach position, he does have some competition for the gig. Mike D’Antoni is a hot candidate in the NBA again after spending a portion of the season as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers. Sam Cassell played point guard for the Rockets, so he would be a fan favorite.

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard Dwight Howard [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]On the flip side, the Houston Rockets also have some competition for the services of Jeff Hornacek. Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird has decided to move on from Frank Vogel. Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac is looking for someone that can help DeMarcus Cousins become a mature winner in the NBA. Hornacek had been a candidate to take over the Los Angeles Lakers, but the team managed to pluck Luke Walton from the Golden State Warriors.

If Jeff Hornacek does not become a head coach in the NBA again this season, it will not be because of a lack of effort. He’s already done a handful of interviews. He’ll more than likely do more if the Houston Rockets decide to go with someone else. Hornacek has a really strong desire to coach in the National Basketball Association.

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