The Houston Rockets' quest to replace Rick Adelman as coach is focused on three candidates, reports Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle: Kevin McHale, Dwane Casey and Lawrence Frank. Adelman was dismissed after four seasons in Houston; the Rockets missed the playoffs in the last two years as injuries -- especially those to Yao Ming -- ravaged the roster.
McHale, the former All-NBA power forward of the Boston Celtics during the 1980s' glory years, has coached limited stints, serving twice as the Minnesota Timberwolves' in-season replacement after, as general manager, he fired the head coach. In 2005, McHale led the Wolves to a 19-12 finish (and almost to a playoff bid) after canning Flip Saunders. McHale had less success after firing Randy Wittman in 2008-09; the Wolves went 20-43 under McHale, and Wolves owner Glen Taylor fired him as both coach and GM. He's worked for TNT and NBA TV since.
Interestingly, McHale fired Casey as Wolves coach after just 1-1/2 years; Casey had a bad team at 20-20 midway through the 2006-07 season, but McHale canned Casey to replace him with Wittman. The Wolves went 12-30 the rest of the way, and Casey still hasn't gotten another head coaching opportunity. He's considered a top candidate for seemingly every job, and currently works as an assistant for Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks.
Frank works under Doc Rivers for the Boston Celtics; he left the New Jersey Nets early in that team's disastrous 2009-10 campaign. Rivers may step away from the Celtics at season's end, which could put Frank -- seemingly a top candidate to replace Rivers -- in an interesting spot if the Rockets offer their job before the Celtics' season ends.