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Kevin McHale bothers Tim Duncan’s inbound pass, Gregg Popovich gets T’d up complaining about it (VIDEO)

Dec 1, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Near the end of the first half of the Rockets’ win over the Spurs on Saturday, we were treated to a bit of coaching shenanigans courtesy of Houston’s Kevin McHale.

Tim Duncan is set to inbound the ball in front of the Rockets’ bench, and McHale is standing to Duncan’s right on the sideline — the same side of the floor where the Spurs’ big man will be attempting to throw his pass.

Duncan is explaining how wrong this seems to the official, which is why he lets the ball roll away instead of catching it when the referee bounces it to him. McHale briefly retreats to Duncan’s other side, before the official apparently explained that McHale, being within the designated coaching box area, was well within his rights to stand where he was.

McHale walked back in front of Duncan to his right, and Duncan delivered the pass on target to Manu Ginobili without incident.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was livid with McHale’s maneuver, however, and let the referees hear about at as he headed to the locker room. Popovich was then whistled for a technical foul for his outburst.

This is nothing compared to what Jason Kidd pulled off earlier this week with his drink-spilling incident, obviously. But it’s your latest reminder that these former Hall of Fame level players who are now head coaches have a competitive fire so intense that they will do seemingly anything to gain even the smallest of advantages.

  1. turrrds - Dec 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    He should have hit him in the head with the pass. Probably change his mind real quick about standing there.

  2. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I don’t get why Pop is so worked up. He’d probably do the same thing.

    Especially because McHale didn’t do anything that affected the play, couldn’t Pop just let it go and not give his team a bigger deficit to climb out of?

    • savvybynature - Dec 1, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Because Pop sticks up for his players, period. If he just lets things go, people might think they can get away with walking over his players. He wouldn’t let that happen.

      Is he stubborn? Yeah. People of principle often are.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 1, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Why is he so worked up? Because while he was complaining about this instance, he was really griping to try and prevent it from happening to his team in the future.

        Pop is smart enough and has been around long enough to know that Duncan got the ball in OK but it could cost them in a game another time.

        He knew he couldn’t change the outcome of this instance but he was trying to make a point for the future regarding this for his team.

        He had to gripe and react enough to make a point about it. To get it talked about, written about etc…

        Not saying that this will have an effect next time but coaches and players try to work officials.

        Heck, Pop was trying to make a point for later during that same game as he didn’t want it to cost his team later.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        Touche but that doesn’t mean you get T-ed up when you’re already down 10. According to how the rules are written, McHale did nothing wrong – he was in the coaches designated area. The ref can’t do anything to him for standing there.

        There’s a way to get your point across without the T.

  3. creek0512 - Dec 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Simple solution, stop letting coaches wonder all over the court.

    • term3186 - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      So maybe we should have designated coaching box areas where we allow coaches to stand. Kinda like where McHale was standing.

      • savvybynature - Dec 1, 2013 at 7:50 PM

        Exactly. Except when a play is occurring in that area, the coach should be told to get the hell out of the way.
        After all, Duncan had to be there in order to participate in the play. McHale had no reason to be there and moving would not have affected his coaching in any way whatsoever.

  4. danielcp0303 - Dec 1, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    What we don’t see is what leads up to McHale doing that. The ref was suppose to hand the ball to Duncan for an inbound, yet the ref keeps chatting with Duncan over a call. The conversation lasted probably a full minute even though there was no timeout. If the ref had simply handed Duncan the ball instead of delaying the game, Harden wouldn’t have been clapping and yelling…and McHale wouldn’t have done that.

  5. gymtruthteller - Dec 1, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    What do you expect? His best bud is Danny AInge who if you remember stood behind the foul line 2 years ago and waved a flag so a player would miss a free throw.

    There is no class in ex Celtics

    • mydoghasfleez - Dec 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      “…..There is no class in ex Celtics….”

      Amen to that.

  6. 22yearsagotoday - Dec 1, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    McHale had a Bird flashback and thought he had a chance to steal the ball.

  7. bigwood7584 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    I don’t think Spurs fans have a problem when Pop gets an advantage by using hack a Howard. Its him trying to get any kind of advantage. So McHale doing what’s LEGAL in the game to get an advantage is the exact same thing. People are pretending like McHale was disrespecting the game. Which thing disrespects the game more. What McHale did ir what Pop has done since Shaq was in the league.

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