Sources: Rockets near coach decision

Updated: May 17, 2011, 6:27 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

TNT analyst Kevin McHale will get another interview with the Houston Rockets as the team completes a second round of sitdowns this week with the three finalists for its coaching vacancy, according to sources close to the process.

The Rockets have already interviewed Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank and Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey twice, sources said.

After McHale's second interview, sources said, Rockets officials are expected to name their successor to Rick Adelman.

KRIV-TV (FOX 26) in Houston reported that Frank's second interview with the Rockets was conducted Monday. The Rockets also completed a second interview with Casey late last week while the Mavericks were waiting to find out their opponent in the Western Conference finals, which begin Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Dallas on ESPN.

The Rockets have interviewed numerous coaches as part of a broad search to replace Adelman, but have made previous NBA head-coaching experience a prerequisite for the job. McHale hired and fired Casey as Minnesota's general manager and has a record of 39-55 in two stints as the Wolves' interim coach. McHale was 19-12 after taking over for Flip Saunders in the 2004-05 season and posted a 20-43 mark after replacing Randy Wittman for the final 63 games in the 2008-09 season.

Frank was 225-241 in parts of seven seasons coaching the New Jersey Nets and, like Casey, is also under consideration for the Golden State Warriors' coaching vacancy.

The 54-year-old Casey has been waiting for a second shot at a top job since being dismissed by the Timberwolves with a record of 20-20 during the 2006-07 season. He narrowly missed out on coaching jobs last summer with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers. Casey's chances in Houston could gain a boost from his association with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who is highly regarded by the Rockets. Casey has been working largely as the Mavericks' defensive coordinator since coming to Dallas with Carlisle at the start of the 2008-09 season.

Senior writer Marc Stein covers the NBA for ESPN.com.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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