Houston, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Coach Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets has taken an indefinite leave of absence from his mentoring duties to focus on a personal issue involving his family, the team announced Saturday.
In a statement, the Rockets said McHale “will be taking an immediate leave of absence from the team to attend to a personal family matter”.
“Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment,” said Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. “The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The Rockets said assistant coach Kelvin Sampson will handle head coaching duties during McHale’s absence. No return date has been set for McHale’s return.
The team made the announcement before the Rockets face the winless Detroit Pistons Saturday.
James Harden scored 20 points while Omer Asik had 14 as the Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 96-82 win over the Pistons.
Marcus Morris contributed 12 points, Toney Douglas had 11 and Jeremy Lin had seven points, eight assists and four rebounds for the Rockets.
Brandon Knight scored 16 points, Tayshaun Prince had 13 and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who dropped to 0-7.
In their first encounter this season, Harden dropped 37 points and 12 assists in his season debut with the Rockets after he was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder, leading the team to a 105-96 victory over the Pistons.