Kelvin Sampson: A soon to be head coach?

Winning organizations don’t last in the NBA. Professional sports leagues are copycat clubs, and the NBA is no different. The Bucks dove into Detroit’s annual conference champion organization to get general manager John Hammond. Successful organizations lose key members all of the time, it’s the price they pay for their success.

So perhaps Milwaukee should see it as a compliment that rumors have placed Kelvin Sampson in both Cleveland and Los Angeles.

From Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports:

As the Cleveland Cavaliers sift potential coaching candidates, general manager Danny Ferry has made calls checking on Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.


The Clippers are also showing an interest in Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Y! Sampson has relationship with Blake Griffin.

At this stage, it’s not clear how sincere or how high up on the Cavaliers and Clippers lists Sampson may be, but it was only a matter of time before the Bucks assistant coaches started getting feelers. With the exception of Adrian Griffin, every assistant on the Bucks staff has been a head coach at some level (Joe Wolf was a D-League head coach, Sampson college and Jim Boylan in the NBA). Sampson’s work with Brandon Jennings in particular seemed to garner him much notoriety, starting with Jennings’ surprisingly effective summer league performance under Sampson’s tutelage as head coach. But if Sampson were to get his first NBA head honcho gig of his career, I’d expect it to be Cleveland before the Clippers.

His relationship with Blake Griffin in cited by Wojnarowski on Twitter, but his connections in Cleveland run deeper.

After his dismissal at Indiana, Sampson worked as an adviser to the San Antonio Spurs, getting his feet wet in the NBA and bracing himself for a career after college. There are few betters ways to rehabilitate one’s career than with the San Antonio Spurs and their uber-respected organization. In fact, where did Cleveland’s last coach, Mike Brown, spend time as an assistant before his head job with Cleveland? You guessed it, San Antonio. General manager Danny Ferry spent the last three years of his playing career in San Antonio before working in their front office prior to taking the job as Cleveland’s general manager.

The roots are there for this deal to go down.

But the catch would be that Sampson may not be the big name coach Cleveland is looking to bring in to appease Lebron James. Sampson’s experience at multiple levels and impressive pedigree could be enough to persuade James that he can get the job done. This one bears watching as it develops.

Categories: The Off Season

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  1. Milwaukee_Buck

    Losing Sampson would be a bummer. I was glad the day he joined the Bucks coaching staff and will be sad the day he leaves.