Kenny Smith.

Kenny 'The Jet' Smith all but rules himself out of Houston Rockets coaching role

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'Inside the NBA' fans fear not, there is unlikely to be any changes made to the panel in the immediate future. It was reported last week that Kenny 'The Jet' Smith would be interviewing for the vacant head coaching role at the Houston Rockets.

However, ahead of Monday night's game between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, the analyst all but confirmed he will be remaining in the TNT studio with Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Charles Barkley.

It was reported on Monday by the Houston Chronicle that Smith was no longer in the running for the position after the Rockets had supposedly interviewed his former teammate Sam Cassell along with David Blatt, Jeff Hornacek, and Mike D’Antoni.

When discussing the open role at his former franchise - where he spent six years as a player from 1990 to 1996 - 'The Jet' said he does not expect to leave his position in the studio any time soon.

He said: “The Rockets have a philosophy of what their coach should be and right now, I’m here, and it looks like I’m gonna be here, and that’s great.

“I wish them nothing but the best, without question. But this is the seat that a lot of people want to be in as well."

Smith has no experience as a head coach and taking on a franchise like Houston would have been a huge task for a first-time coach. It seems the Rockets are looking for someone with a little more experience to take control of a locker room that has reportedly had many issues.

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James Harden and Dwight Howard's relationship was an on-going issue throughout the 2015-16 season as the Rockets crept into the playoffs on the final day of the campaign before putting up little to no fight as they were dumped out in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

It was a huge dip in form for the team that finished second in the Western Conference in 2015 and made it all the way to the Conference Finals on the back of James Harden's near MVP performances.

Howard is unlikely the take up the player option on his current deal and will leave the Toyota Center once free agency begins in pursuit of a max contract with another franchise, however, Harden will be the key building block for the organisation moving forward.

The perennial All-Star has left a number of supporters exacerbated with his lack of effort on the defensive end all year and the first job of the new coach will be to draw the Harden of 2014-15 out in the hope he can inspire the Rockets to something special next season.

There is no news yet on who that man will be, but it will not be Kenny Smith.

Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
James Harden

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