The Rockets were working on organizing an interview to be held during the playoffs, and The Athletic's Kelly Iko has now reported that Cassell’s interview is scheduled for Sunday.
The Houston Rockets will interview longtime assistant Sam Cassell for the franchise’s head coaching job on Sunday, sources tell @TheAthletic. Cassell, a three-time champion and former Rocket, has been with the Philadelphia 76ers since 2020.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIko) April 20, 2023
As I mentioned in last week’s report when this story first emerged, Cassell makes a lot of sense for a team like the Rockets.
For one, Cassell has been highly respected as an assistant coach around the NBA for many years now, and has a long track record of helping young players, particularly guards like John Wall (during Cassell’s time with the Wizards from 2009 to 2014) and the Sixers’ own Tyrese Maxey. With Cassell’s clear knack for development and extensive experience after 14 years working as an assistant coach, Houston’s young roster — that needs to grow and develop far more structure — seems like a logical fit. Not to mention the fact that Cassell has his own connection with the Rockets after being an important part of their championship-winning teams in 1994 and 1995.
We had a fun postgame moment from Cassell just this week as well, when he came through the Sixers’ Game 2 press conference cheering for Maxey.
In the middle of Tyrese Maxey’s press conference, Sam Cassell started fist pumping and cheering “Maxey! Maxey!” before yelling “My protege, Tyrese Maxey!”— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) April 18, 2023
Maxey: “That man’s crazy.” pic.twitter.com/ZqStyouRxa
Cassell just seems to make a positive impact wherever he goes.
With how highly Sixers players have spoken of Cassell ever since he arrived, and the connection you can see between them, it’s clear Cassell has made quite a mark in Philadelphia.
He’d be sorely missed on the team’s coaching staff, but he’s more than earned a head coaching opportunity this offseason if a team like Houston is ready to offer it to him. Cassell departing for a promotion would hardly be surprising at this point.