Mike Wells reported this morning that Frank Vogel interviewed with the Houston Rockets Thursday for their open coaching position. Other the fact of the report, and reminding us via Twitter that Vogel and Rockets Head Daryl Morey were together at Boston (both at much lower levels), there really is not much to report.
This will cause some heartburn for some people, but I’m not overly concerned for a couple of reasons.
First, the Houston Rockets search for a new coach is beginning to look a lot like the opening auditions for American Idol. Wells gives an abbreviated list:
The Rockets and Rick Adelman parted ways last month. Since then, former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson, who starred at Broad Ripple High School and Indiana University before an 11-year NBA career; Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, a former IU coach; former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who was an IU student manager; Mario Elie, Kevin McHale and others have interviewed.
The Rockets are seemingly talking to everyone – in fact, you should probably check your voice mail. So, Frank Vogel talking to Morey is still a long way from a forthcoming offer – or even genuine interest.
I’m also less worried, because I still have doubts about Vogel and would feel more comfortable with a more experienced coach. Looking back at Alex Yovanovich’s questions:
However, let’s interrupt the euphoria for a moment to ask a few tough questions.
Is the 20-18 finish to the season just a short-term bounce that was not an accurate representation of Vogel’s abilities?
The offense that we saw down the stretch consisted of a few very simple plays and became easy to defend down the stretch of tight games. Does Vogel have a real, cohesive offense that he will install for next year?
What defensive philosophy is Vogel going to adhere to that will best utilize the players on the roster?
Can Vogel be critical of players that don’t perform in big situations? For instance, when Roy Hibbert is close to a no show in four of five playoff games maybe the positive reinforcement simply isn’t working. Would Vogel be willing to jump on Hibbert if that’s what it takes to get him right?
My answers would be: Yes, maybe, don’t know, I don’t think so.
The schedule over the last three months was easy (2nd easiest SoSHR in the league), and there were enough red flags during that time to dampen my overall enthusiasm. I’m not saying definitively that Vogel should not get the job. I’m just saying I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see someone else chosen.
But, hey…whoever is chosen as coach is less important than a lot of things this summer – including what new players the Pacers can bring in and what happens with the CBA. We’ll find out about those soon, though probably not soon enough for my (or anyone else’s) taste.
Rockets head coaching candidates for Friday interviews. They may be disappointed, though, as I hear Morey really loved Kelvin Sampson’s rendition of “She Bangs.”