Kelvin Sampson emerges as Nets coaching target

Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has come up as a “significant” candidate for the head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski:

Nets general manager Billy King is intrigued with Sampson, among other candidates, and is expected to eventually speak with him, sources said.

Sampson has elevated his stature as a head-coaching candidate as the top assistant for Kevin McHale in Houston. When McHale left the team early this season to tend to his ailing daughter, Sampson led the Rockets to a 7-6 record that triggered a spurt that has Houston at 16-12 and in sixth place in the Western Conference.

Houston officials praise Sampson’s ability to connect with star players, something he cultivated spending several months with Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs and under McHale in Houston. McHale gives Sampson significant freedom on the offensive and defensive ends to implement the Rockets’ style of play.

Read More: Yahoo! — Kelvin Sampson ‘significant’ candidate for Nets’ coaching job


  1. He has also been coaching since 1979 as opposed to Johnson who started coaching in 2004. Probably night and day difference in level of basketball understanding between the two guys.

  2. And keep in mind that Johnson only coached for about four years before getting fired from Mavericks. They were very very successful years, but in terms of experience there is no substitute for time. Then Johnson does broadcasting for a bit and comes back to coaching two years ago with the Nets. The Nets are terrible. But that is besides the point. Johnson has six years of coaching experience. Sampson has 33 years of experience. A guy like Sampson is who should be at the head of an NBA team.

  3. I don’t view being a Popovich assistant as necessarily a plus. For instance, Mike Brown.
    Also, why aren’t we hearing the name of Mike Malone? He has turned around the defenses of three teams in a row. If you’re looking for the next Thibs, he’s a truly obvious candidate.