Kevin McHale was part of an NBA TV conference call today. He and fellow analyst Chris Webber were there to talk about the NBA finals, which kicked off Tuesday night.
Of course, McHale also spent some time talking about his decision to re-enter the coaching ranks as the leader of the Houston Rockets.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” McHale said.
He’s also eater to get back to the competitive world of the NBA. “I miss the competition,” he said. “I miss being in the fox hole, being in the fight. I really enjoy that. The job became available.”
McHale likes the fact that Houston is a team that won 43 games, so it is already competitive. “I think (former coach) Rick Adelman did a wonderful job,” he said. “They have guys who can score on that team. Overall, I thought it was a good fit. … I’m excited to get it going.”
That said, McHale also said he hasn’t actually signed the deal yet. He will do that Friday. McHale said he expects his team will play a quick, up-temp game, but will not sacrifice defense to do that. “It’s about defensive commitment and player accountability. The players have to be accountable on the defensive end.”
To McHale, this NBA finals points up the importance of defense. Both he and Webber talked about Miami’s ability to shut people down with defense. Webber and McHale both ended the teleconference by picking the Heat to beat Dallas in six games.
But back to Houston. McHale went out of his way to say how much he had enjoyed working in TV after having left the Wolves. But the draw of the game, the camaraderie that goes with it, was too much of a draw. “There was a part of me that wanted to get back and do it. I learned (while working in TV) how much I missed it.”
McHale said he hadn’t really begun building an assistant coaching staff.
One final note. Webber signed off the teleconference by giving McHale a ringing endorsement. “He’s a winner,” Webber said of McHale. “He’s a great communicator and a great man. All the great coaches I had wee those things first.”
That’s about all. Have a good rest of your day