The Houston Rockets made the announcement Friday that they will promote Chris Finch to their coaching staff, according to a press release on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers website. This isn't new news, but at least the release means that it is finally official.
Finch showed that this promotion is definitely deserved through his time in the D-League, and he likewise credits his success in the NBA Development League is part of the reason he earned the call-up.
"I want to thank everybody within the Vipers organization for all their support and professionalism over the last two years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and working with everybody. I found the experience both rewarding and very helpful in preparing me for my next opportunity," Finch said in the release.
With Finch moving on, the Rockets will immediately begin a search for the next head coach of the Vipers. It would seem that the search will begin and end with Paul Mokeski.
Mokeski, a long-time NBA player who has extensive assistant coaching experience in both the NBA and D-League, is currently in Bosnia coaching Great Britain's 20-and-under team (featuring San Antonio Spurs draftee Ryan Richards, among others). Later this summer, he'll join up with Finch, Iowa Energy head coach Nick Nurse and the rest of the Great Britain National Team as an assistant coach for a couple of Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Along with being familiar with the Valley while assisting Finch the past couple of seasons, Mokeski knows the D-League and the Rockets which can only help in making it a smooth transition. He should be able to easily earn respect from his players considering his ability to stick in the NBA.
There are certainly other options available, but if the Rockets know what they're doing -- and I tend to think that they do -- Mokeski will probably be the next Vipers head coach.