Former Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale is already getting calls from interested teams just hours after he was fired on Wednesday. The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks have expressed interest in striking a deal with the Hall of Famer.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told Boston Herald that he reached out to McHale and to his former teammate that there is a spot for him in the franchise. However, Ainge also confirmed that McHale is not ready to look for another job at this point.
"I told Kevin that we've got a spot for him," Ainge said. "I know we could figure something out for him in some capacity, but I think he's just in a wait and see mode. He appreciated me reaching out to him, but I think he's just going to lay low. He's probably got bigger and better things to do or more relaxing things to do."
Ainge said, though, that he McHale, a Celtics legend, will still have a spot in the franchise if he decides to return. The Celtics exec revealed that he wants McHale to mentor their big men like Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, saying in jest that his former teammate's patented "slippery eel" inside move will be a huge help to their bigs.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported that the Mavericks are also a eyeing McHale. The 57-year-old worked as consultant in Dallas before he was hired by the Rockets in 2009. According to the report, Mavericks owner and coach Rick Carlisle have high respect for McHale.
Carlise told the Boston Herald that, like most coaches in the league, he was surprised when the Rockets opted to part ways with McHale, who had an impressive 193-130 record in more than four seasons in Houston. The Rockets ended ties with Mchale after a disappointing 4-7 start this season.
But Carlisle, who is also a former teammate of McHale, believes the Hall of Famer, who led the Rockets to three straight playoff appearances, including a Western Conference Finals stint last season, will get a lot of offers.
"It's surprising when something like this happens, shocking even," Carlisle said. "But he's going to be fine. He's going to get a chance to get some rest here and, who knows, probably jump on TV and have a blast doing that. And then there'll be a lot of teams wanting to hire him, because he did a fantastic job in Houston."