Earlier this week, news circulated that John Lucas, one of the best players in Maryland basketball history, is a candidate for the Houston Rockets head coaching job following the departure of Mike D’Antoni.
Interviews for the position are now officially underway, and Lucas, the team’s current director of player development, is expected to be interviewed last, ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported Wednesday.
Lucas played in College Park from 1972-76, earning first team All-American honors twice and First Team All-ACC three times while leading the team to two Elite Eight appearances. He’ll be forever cemented in Terrapin history, still tied for first in career field goals (862), fourth in career scoring average (18.3), sixth in all-time points (2015) and sixth in all-time assists (514), to name a few.
He was also the first No. 1 overall pick for the program, selected by the Rockets in the 1976 NBA Draft following his senior season.
Lucas then played 14 years in the NBA for six different teams, including three separate stints in Houston (1976-78, 1984-86, 1989-90). In 1986, during his second stint with the Rockets, his team made the NBA finals before losing to the Boston Celtics. Lucas took some time away from the game following his retirement in 1990, but he eventually returned as a coach.
Though he’s held a multitude of positions, Lucas most notably served as the head coach for three different franchises, the San Antonio Spurs (1992-94), the Philadelphia 76ers (1994-96) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2001-03). He didn’t stay with any of the teams for more than two seasons, however, compiling a 173-258 record before being fired by the Cavaliers several months before they drafted LeBron James.
Since then, Lucas has worked in various roles as an assistant coach, including landing his current position in 2016.
The Rockets are considering an abundance of candidates to fill one of the more coveted coaching positions around the league, including the likes of Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld, Jr., Minnesota assistant David Vanterpool, Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas, former Nets head coach Ken Atkinson, Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and former Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who is currently a broadcaster.
Spears noted Lucas has a strong relationship with Rockets star James Harden, which could help him as the process continues. Forward Danuel House Jr. also tweeted in support of Lucas.
In other news
Matt highlighted what Maryland football’s alumni did during week four of the NFL seasons, including a pair of big games from Buffalo Bills players.
The Maryland basketball community came together to wish recent graduate and Terp great Anthony Cowan Jr. a happy birthday.
The Maryland women’s basketball team are back on the court getting ready for the upcoming season, all masked up.
Maryland men’s soccer has been on the front lines battling for LGBTQ rights and celebrated an anniversary on Wednesday.
Maryland women’s lacrosse head coach Cathy Reese has one of the biggest Then v. Now flexes.
how it started: how it's going: pic.twitter.com/EvkSOwcfIo— Maryland Women's Lacrosse (@MarylandWLax) October 7, 2020
Maryland baseball pitcher Connor Staine put in work this summer.