http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/87273 ... hter-death
Kevin McHale back with Rockets
HOUSTON -- Houston coach Kevin McHale has rejoined the Rockets after almost a month away from the team, and two weeks after the death of his daughter.
McHale took a leave of absence on Nov. 10 to be with his family as his daughter's health worsened. Alexandra "Sasha" McHale died Nov. 24 of complications from Lupus. She was 23.
"It's been a while," he said. "Hopefully, it's the right time. I don't know there ever is a right time. I don't know if there is a playbook about this, but I'm excited to be back."
I had a lot of guys that I didn't know that well that really reached out, and I spent a lot of time talking to them. It's a terrible situation ... it's incomprehensible. But it meant a lot.
”-- Kevin McHale on returning after
McHale will coach the Rockets on Saturday night against the Mavericks.
Houston went 7-6 under interim coach Kelvin Sampson while McHale was out.
McHale said he spoke with Sampson daily, watched each game and tried to stay plugged into the team as much as he could while he was away.
"It was hard. I don't want to get into the whole thing, but it was hard because your mind is a million miles away, but yet you're still watching games and you're still pulling for the guys so hard and you want them to win," he said. "A lot of times that hour of the day (talking to Sampson) was sometimes the best part of the day."
The second-year coach and Hall-of-Fame player complimented the job Sampson and the rest of the staff did while he was out. He said he felt bad that he had to leave this young team, which was trying to fit new pieces together, just when the season was starting.
"There just was a ton of adjustments to be made, and I thought they did a really good job of making adjustments," he said of his coaching staff.
McHale never directly addressed his daughter, but he did note that he appreciated the support he received from various people around the league during this difficult time.
"I've heard from a lot of people (and) that's been tremendous," he said. "I had a lot of guys that I didn't know that well that really reached out, and I spent a lot of time talking to them. It's a terrible situation ... it's incomprehensible. But it meant a lot."
The Rockets are paying tribute to McHale's daughter by wearing a green and purple band on their jerseys and a patch of the same color with her initials on their warm-up shirts. Green was her favorite color, and purple is the color that represents the fight against Lupus.
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Glad to see him make it back. I imagine it would be tough to go back into the limelight after what he went through. He may be a Celtic but I wish him the best, except for when the Rocket's play us
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Frank Dux wrote:
Glad to see him make it back. I imagine it would be tough to go back into the limelight after what he went through. He may be a ****** but I wish him the best, except for when the Rocket's play us
Glad to see him back as well. It's tough to see anyone go through something like that.
The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It's dismissive. I don't understand this person, so they're crazy. That's [BS]. -- Dave Chapelle
This was not just a jersey to throw on. This wasn’t just a game to play. This was an honor, and to wear the “Purple and Gold” was a responsibility. -- Derek Fisher
I hate close-ups of Kobe. He reminds me of the little green aliens who experimented on me in their spaceship. -- Blazer Fan
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Basketball Fan wrote:http://youtu.be/RDG8x9golsA
Such a heartwarming gesture by the Mavs. Great to see. I'm surprised McHale held it together, I know I would have been pretty emotional; hell I almost got misty-eyed just watching it.
In other news, it's really weird to see Fish in a Mavs jersey....
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