Kevin Burleson named Rio Grande Valley branch coach

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Kevin Burleson, a former Rockets player development coach under Kevin McHale, was named Wednesday to become the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ G League affiliate.

“I am extremely excited and honored to begin my first-ever NBA head coaching career at the G League level with the RGV Vipers,” Burleson said in a statement. “I believe the sky is the limit, I’m not putting a cap on this tremendous opportunity that is before me. More importantly, the things that we are going to do in our daily process will lead to the type of success that this franchise and this city are used to.

Burleson, 43, was an assistant for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, working for former Rockets assistant coach Chris Finch, after a year with the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Burleson will be the ninth coach in Vipers history.

“We are incredibly thrilled to have Coach Burleson on board,” Vipers general manager Travis Stockbridge said in a statement. “He’s a terrific basketball spirit with an impressive resume as a player and a coach. Having known Kevin since the start of his coaching career, I’m proud of how far he’s come and thrilled that he’s crossed the line. next step with the Vipers. I am confident that his diverse backgrounds, intimate knowledge of the game and ability to connect with people will serve him well as the next head coach, and I look forward to working with him. .

Burleson played with the Charlotte Bobcats, as well as stints in Germany, Turkey, Romania, Egypt, and the G League, then known as the D-League. He was not drafted from Minnesota in 2003.

A native of Seattle, Burleson played first at Garfield High School, where Rockets first-round pick Tari Eason played in high school, then at O’Dea High School, which produced Paolo Banchero, the first pick of the NBA draft.

His younger brother Nate Burleson, a former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, is a co-host of “CBS Mornings” and an analyst on “The NFL Today.”

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