NBA Saturday: Lowry Wants McHale Fired?
This season, Kyle Lowry emerged as one of the top point guards in the NBA. The 26-year-old played at an All-Star-caliber level for much of the 2011-12 campaign, averaging 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds with the Houston Rockets. Before being diagnosed with a bacterial infection in March, Lowry was filling the box score on a nightly basis.
While Lowry had a successful season, he believes he could’ve done even more if he wasn’t limited by Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. In fact, Lowry has said that if McHale returns as head coach, he will likely demand a trade.
“If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved,” Lowry told the Houston Chronicle.
When asked if he and McHale could successful coexist, Lowry had doubts.
“I don’t think so,” Lowry said. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed.
Lowry isn’t the only player in Houston who feels that way, he’s just the only one who’s willing to go on the record. Throughout the season, a number of players and agents questioned and criticized McHale’s rotations, adjustments and decisions, but they wanted to remain anonymous. Lowry decided to make his feelings public, and the coach was caught off guard.
“That’s very surprising,” McHale responded. “I didn’t think we had too much of a problem coexisting this year. Everybody has a little beef every once in a while. I didn’t feel like (there were problems). He apparently did.”
“There were times that we didn’t agree on things,” McHale added. “There were times that I got on him. I don’t think it was unduly harsh on anybody.”
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn’t seemed concerned about Lowry’s comments.
“I think Kyle and Coach McHale are both winners and both competitive guys,” Morey said. “I don’t anticipate any issues going forward.”
It’s unlikely that the Rockets would trade Lowry given how much they value him. Many teams called and made offers for the veteran point guard this season, but Houston refused to make him available. These latest comments don’t mean that Lowry’s days as a Rocket are numbered, they indicate that McHale’s on the hot seat.
Richard Prepares for NBA Draft: Patrick Richard isn’t getting much attention as the 2012 NBA Draft approaches, but there’s no question that he can play.
Richard was a star at McNeese State, averaging 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his senior season. Because he played at a small school and didn’t face elite competition, he’s on a mission to prove that he belongs in the NBA. He has scheduled workouts with a number of teams and he’s looking forward to showing what he can do during the pre-draft process.
Richard has been working out in Los Angeles with Rival Sports, and HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler caught up with him last week:
Malone a Possible Replacement for Del Negro: If the Los Angeles Clippers decide to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro, one name that will surely surface as a replacement is Mike Malone. Malone, who was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors last season, is considered one of the top assistants in the league and is expected to land a head coaching job somewhere this summer.
While Malone’s basketball mind makes him an attractive candidate, he also a big advantage: Chris Paul would support the hiring of Malone. According to our own Eric Pincus, Paul has Malone on his short-list of preferred Del Negro replacements.
Being on Paul’s list goes a long way. The Clippers want to appease Paul, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While he has praised the organization, he hasn’t committed long-term. His opinions will certainly be considered when the Clippers’ brass are deciding who will coach this team next season. Los Angeles wants to persuade Paul to sign a long-term deal, and putting the right pieces around him is the first step.
Malone was the lead assistant with the New Orleans Hornets when Paul led the team to an impressive series against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011, despite a season-ending injury to David West. Malone was also a key part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ staff, including the year they made their run to the NBA Finals in 2007.
If Del Negro gets fired in the coming weeks, Malone may be the frontrunner for the job given his impressive résumé and support from Paul.