It’s official. Our friend from the Houston Chronicle, Jonathan Feigen, has this report about the Houston Rockets.
McHale took a leave of absence on November 10th to attend to family matters. It turned out that the family matter was about his daughter, Sasha, who was battling lupus. 23-year-old Sasha passed away on November 25.
Here was the statement from Rockets owner Leslie Alexander concerning the McHale family.
“I extend my deepest condolences to Kevin and Lynn for the loss of their beautiful daughter, Sasha, on Saturday afternoon. Kevin and Lynn are loving and dedicated parents who will need our continued support throughout this very difficult time. Our entire organization is mourning the McHale family’s loss and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson took over for McHale while he was on leave. The Rockets went 7-6 under Sampson.
McHale was part of the “Big Three” in Boston in the 80s, which included the great Larry Bird and Robert Parish. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. After his playing career, he went on to become the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was noted for drafting Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA Draft. He was interim coach in the 2004-05 season after he replaced the fired Flip Saunders. He would become coach again for the Timberwolves in the 2008-09 season when he replaced Randy Wittman. He would not return to the Wolves after that season. McHale would do television work for a few years in NBA TV before going back to coaching before the 2011-12 season with the Houston Rockets.
McHale has so far compiled an 82-96 (.461) coaching record thus far.