Rockets Coach Kevin McHale Reportedly Set to Return from Leave of Absence
UPDATE: Saturday, December 8 at 6:10 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to Rockets.com reporter Jason Friedman, McHale confirmed that he will coach Saturday night versus the Dallas Mavericks:
Coach Mac is back. Confirms he WILL be coaching tonight vs. Mavs. twitter.com/JasonCFriedman…— Jason Friedman (@JasonCFriedman) December 8, 2012
---End of Update---
Kevin McHale will rejoin the Rockets tonight, source said. Don 't know if he'll coach yet.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 8, 2012
It will be his first time back at the Toyota Center since taking his leave back on November 10. Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has been handling the HC duties in his stead.
The coach’s daughter, 23-year-old Alexandra “Sasha” McHale, tragically passed away following a long battle with lupus on November 24, and the former Boston Celtics power forward has been away from the team to bereave with his family.
It is extremely brave of coach McHale to return to his job and continue his work with the Rockets after such a terrible loss. He was given as much time as he needed away by team owner Leslie Alexander and was in everyone’s thoughts and prayers these past few weeks.
He left his post to become the team’s GM, compiling a 19-12 record during his 31-game stint to close the campaign, and once again assumed coaching duties for 63 games during the 2008-2009 season.
After working as a TV analyst for a short while, he accepted the Rockets' offer to become head coach in 2011 and led the undermanned team to a 34-32 record in the lockout-shortened season.
It’s great to see the hoops legend is getting back to his team on Saturday night, and we hope that basketball can help him cope during these trying times.
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