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Rockets Fire Kevin McHale

Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The Houston Rockets’ disastrous start has cost Kevin McHale his head coaching job, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. J.B. Bickerstaff will become the interim head coach. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey confirmed the news on Wednesday morning.

This comes just six months after McHale’s Rockets reached the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Golden State Warriors in five games. After adding Ty Lawson in the offseason appeared to bolster an already strong team, the wheels have come off early in the season.

Houston is off to an awful 4-7 start on the year, and many of the losses have been of the embarrassing variety (fourth-worst point differential in the league). The Rockets made history by losing each of their first three games by 20 points, and after it appeared the ship had been righted thanks to four straight victories, a four-game losing streak proved to be McHale’s undoing.

Those four losses included terrible home defeats to the Brooklyn Nets and undermanned Dallas Mavericks, and the final straw was a complete meltdown at home against the Boston Celtics. Houston led by 15 points in the game, only to fall apart and go down by 29 before losing by 16. The game was a perfect microcosm of a season that’s been marred by poor effort, and it even necessitated a players-only meeting.

This season was McHale’s fifth in Houston, and he’d just received a contract extension about a year ago. He made the playoffs three times with the Rockets and had the best winning percentage in franchise history, but now he’s out of a job.

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