Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/11/12
HOUSTON (AP) Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale took a leave of absence on Saturday to deal with a family matter. The team announced the move and said assistant coach Kelvin Sampson will be in charge while McHale is out. Sampson said McHale called him Saturday afternoon and asked him to coach the team. "Hopefully whatever the family matter is, it gets taken care of," Sampson said. "That's the most important thing." There is no timetable for the return of the second-year coach and Hall of Fame player. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn't provide any further details on the specifics of the situation, but expressed his concern for McHale. "Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment," Morey said. "The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time." Sampson said he addressed the players in a film session Saturday afternoon and that he hopes they can use this setback as a positive. "Oftentimes in life we have things happen to us, and we have to make decisions on how we're going to react to them," Sampson said. "This is one of those times. We lost our leader. I think we can use this as a catalyst to bring us together and fight for him." Sampson was thinking more about McHale than worrying about his task of coaching Houston against the Pistons before Saturday night's game. He said the fact that there weren't high expectations for the Rockets entering this season makes stepping in easier. "I don't think it's that challenging," he said. "We have a young team and we have a new team. I think it would be a lot more challenging if we were . . . the No. 1 ranked team in the league. That might be a little more challenging. We're still growing." Sampson is in his second season with the Rockets after spending three years as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Concussions won’t change the way Luke Kuechly plays

Kevin Durant opens up about how he shuts out the haters

Magic Johnson compares LaVar Ball to Kris Jenner

Dick’s Sporting Goods slipped again and sold Cavs NBA Finals merchandise early

Brandon Marshall responds to Sheldon Richardson calling him out

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Julius Thomas says he’s a ‘better person’ after down years in Jacksonville

Josh Norman not impressed by Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant

Report: Kaepernick ‘wants to be a Seahawk,’ content to be backup

Did Ben McAdoo take subtle shot at Odell Beckham Jr.?

NFL players will still be penalized for dunking on goal posts

Rob Gronkowski a ‘full go’ in practice

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker