NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Hiring Sam Cassell

NBA rumors are swirling around Sam Cassell right now. The former point guard is one of the hotter head coaching candidates floating around. According to the Sporting News, Cassell has already met with the Houston Rockets about potentially replacing Kevin McHale as their new head coach. The odds of the 46-year-old getting the position have increased tremendously now that JB Bickerstaff has informed management that he no longer wants to be in consideration for the position.

Sam Cassell has long wished to be a head coach in the NBA. That’s one of the reasons why he started a job as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards just a couple of months after retiring as an active player in the National Basketball Association. Most point guards believe that they can some day run a team because they did that while they were players.

NBA legend Kevin McHale Kevin McHale [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]Though he’s not the most experienced coach around, Sam Cassell has a pretty resume as an assistant coach in the NBA. He spent several years with the Washington Wizards, where he learned under the late Flip Saunders. Wizards point guard John Wall credits Cassell with teaching him to become one of the better players in the National Basketball Association. Sam is currently on the Los Angeles Clippers coaching staff, where he serves under Doc Rivers.

If brought on board by the Houston Rockets, Sam Cassell could prove to be a valuable mentor for James Harden. The superstar guard might respond better to a guy that has played successfully in the NBA. That was something that JB Bickerstaff did not have on his resume. Cassell has played for several teams in the National Basketball Association, including the Rockets, the team that drafted him. Sam won two championships while he played for Houston.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden James Harden [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]As a player in the NBA, Sam Cassell was a shoot first point guard. He was really quite effective when he was coming off the bench as a sixth man. Cassell used to sub in for Kenny Smith, another candidate to become head coach of the Houston Rockets. Since he knows how effective that position can be, it would come as no surprise if Cassell tried to find a similar player for the Rockets.

Sam Cassell has some stiff competition for the Houston Rockets head coaching position. Mike D’Antoni has seen his name value risen again after working as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. Many teams in the NBA have expressed interest in hiring him. Thus far, he has yet to land a job. However, the belief around the National Basketball Association is that D’Antoni would have no qualms about remaining with the Sixers for another season.

NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy Jeff Van Gundy [Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images]Another person that is competing with Sam Cassell for the head coaching position with the Houston Rockets is none other than Jeff Van Gundy. He has coached the team before, but he’s been behind the broadcast table for the past couple of years. His popularity with NBA fans has skyrocketing since taking on the job because he has shown his hilarious side. Rockets fans would be nostalgic towards the hiring of Cassell, but Van Gundy might be a more popular choice.

The only thing for certain right now is that Sam Cassell is waiting for his chance to become a head coach in the NBA. He’s seen Derek Fisher getting a chance with the New York Knicks. Same thing with Tyronn Lue and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even Earl Watson was given a chance by the Phoenix Suns. Cassell is just eager for his chance to prove that he can run a team.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]