In his report breaking the story, Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski referred to it as a "grueling decision for the Rockets, who extended McHale a year ago and think the world of him as a man." Rockets owner Leslie Alexander cast it as a last-ditch effort to salvage a season that had begun with championship expectations before spiraling into a 4-7 start, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "I’ve never seen my team play as poorly and with less effort. I’m not attributing it to the coach. I had to do something."
General manager Daryl Morey struck the same tone, according to Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press: "The team was not responding to Kevin McHale and we had to make the tough call." Rockets players, from stars James Harden and Dwight Howard to contributors Corey Brewer and Terrence Jones, spoke well of the ousted coach who led them to the Western Conference finals just six months ago.
Evidently, though, all the grim countenances and regretful tones didn't register as especially genuine with McHale's wife, Lynn, who took to Twitter on Thursday to register her discontent with both the firing and its aftermath:
The "@KardasianCurse" refers to the long-posited theory that engaging in a relationship with a member of the famed Kardashian family has a negative effect on athletes' performance. MVP runner-up Harden has been involved with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, the estranged wife of former NBA star Lamar Odom, for some time. He entered Wednesday's action shooting just 37.2 percent from the floor and 26.2 percent from 3-point range, and often looking sluggish or disinterested on defense. He scored a game-high 45 points in Houston's 108-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Shortly after lobbing her 140-character bombs, Lynn McHale's Twitter account was deleted, but not before firing off one last parting shot:
Looks like Lynn McHale's Twitter was deleted. Here is her last tweet. Pretty solid mic drop if you ask me pic.twitter.com/51t2y9YwYt— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) November 19, 2015
There are worse ways to leave a job. (And a social media platform, for that matter.)
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
For his part, McHale told Feigen of the Chronicle after his firing that he felt the tide had started to turn a bit for his scuffling Rockets — "We were starting to address some of the issues that were the reason I was let go" — but also that he didn't blame the Rockets for moving on.
"We probably had more meetings in last six weeks than in my previous four years here," he said. "It wasn’t working."
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