Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

kevin mchale

When Red Auerbach, the late Boston legend who drafted Kevin McHale, lit victory cigars on the Celtics’ bench, he had no right-hand man to share the moment. He had no assistant coaches, no player development staff, no one staying up nights studying video.

As stunned as Auerbach might have been had he been told of the career path of McHale, the playful rookie he drafted, he likely would have been amazed at the changes in NBA coaching since he left the bench in 1967.

When McHale signed on as Rockets coach last week, his first order of business was to begin interviews with assistant coaches, with one expected to serve in the lead assistant role that has become popular in the NBA.

“You try to get the right people,” McHale said. “The head coach is a guy who has a lot of irons in the fire. Guys who are looking at things just from an offensive standpoint or defensive standpoint, they can spend a lot of time on that and really concentrate on that. That’s really important, because there are times that you’re going to need someone to just auger in on one thing and help you. I think those models do work.

“You’ve seen it done in a lot of ways, but I think the league is trending more toward that model. I do like that model.”