The Kevin McHale Era Begins in Rocketland

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

New Rockets coach Kevin McHale was introduced to the local media today, and he and owner Les Alexander sought to tamp down expectations -- not that there were many -- that the team will immediately get a lot better.

McHale says his goal is....making the playoffs. Which really isn't all that impressive in the NBA, although it has proven difficult for the Rockets at times.

"I think that they have pieces in place, very good pieces, that can be part of a championship-type team," McHale said. "Our goal is to make the playoffs next year. That's what it is and that's going to fall on me to do it and if it doesn't get done, it will be on me. But we should make the playoffs -- that's what I feel. And once you get in, anything can happen -- ask Memphis."

McHale dodged any questions on who would be his assistants, but he did note that he thinks the way for the Rockets to win is to get better defensively.

"That's the best thing about the NBA, there are millions of ways to play it, but you have to have conviction in the way you feel it needs to be played and I have a lot of conviction on how the game should be played: up-tempo, but you've got to defend," he said. "You've got to be able to play fast, but you have to be able to defend. You see in the playoffs now, defense kind of reigns supreme."

He also talked about former Rockets coach Bill Fitch, who coached him in Boston, when he was asked what he had learned from him:

I learned not to curse the players out as much as Bill did. No, I love Bill. Bill's a tough guy. Let me tell you something, coming out of college I had never been around a coach that talked the way Bill did to you, but he really pushed you hard and I thought Bill did a great job. What I learned from Bill Fitch was (the importance of) repetition, repetition, repetition -- you get better at what you work at. And I tell you what, we dummied our offense, we ran our offense, we did stuff to the point where you literally wanted to cry.

But I found out that a lot of teams didn't do that. It's a lot of drill work and a lot of repetition, but whatever you're going to do on the floor, you've got to be prepared and you have to do it in practice all the time, and I think that was what I learned from Bill. Bill was a fantastic coach and he still lives in the Houston area, so I'm sure I'll run into Coach Fitch.

McHale will obviously be good with the media and fans; like everyone else, only results will matter.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.