Houston Rockets Interim Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has No Interest in Full-Time Position
It looks like the Houston Rockets may have a tough time finding the next head coach to get fired by Dwight Howard (assuming he picks up his player option for the 2016-2017 season, which seems very unlikely at this point). Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over early in the season after Kevin McHale was fired, has officially withdrawn his name from consideration for the position next season.
Bickerstaff led the Rockets, who he referred to as a “broken team” to a 37-34 record as head coach, helping the team edge its way into the playoffs despite year-long defensive issues. The Rockets lost in the first round, winning only one game in the series against the Golden State Warriors.
Now, the head coaching search begins for the Rockets, and Bickerstaff would rather take a demotion and remain an assistant coach than led this team. That tells you about all you need to know about the Rockets.
The Rockets are currently interviewing former NBA head coach and current Philadelphia 76ers assistant Mike D’Antoni. So much as interviewing D’Antoni shows just how confident the Rockets are in a Dwight Howard return, as the two never got along in their time together with the Los Angeles Lakers, and many people feel Howard was responsible for getting his coach fired.
Los Angeles Clippers assistant Sam Cassell, Rockets assistant Chris Finch, and TNT analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith have also been mentioned in the coaching search; however, Smith has also shown a little uneasiness when asked about the prospect of coaching his former team.
“I’ve always said anything basketball is me,” said Smith when questioned about the opening by Charles Barkley on TNT. “And this is basketball. I enjoy being here. This is me…I told you if it’s basketball, it’s me…I’ve been here 17 years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
In other words, Smith has a nice position with TNT, and he’s not overly ready to be thrown into a dysfunctional setting like the one in Houston. Or maybe he’d just miss Shaq and Chuck way too much to leave.