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Rockets hire Kelvin Sampson as lead assistant, but he could still become the Pistons’ head coach

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (hat tip: Brad Monastiere):

Rockets reached agreement w Bucks’ Kelvin Sampson to be lead assistant under Kevin McHale, per source.

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to tell whether the Pistons have bungled their coaching search, but the possibility is concerning.

If they wanted Kelvin Sampson, they clearly dragged their feet too long. If they didn’t want Sampson – and given that he’s never been an NBA head coach, I think this is more likely – no big deal.

I still don’t think the Pistons need to rush to hire a coach – as long as they get their top choice. What difference does it make whether they make a hire today or in a month? The coach likely won’t even be able to talk to his players until after that.

But as known candidates like Sampson and Dwane Casey take other jobs, I get more worried the Pistons will end up settling for a second-tier choice.

No reason to panic yet, but keep your guard up.

Update

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Kelvin Sampson has joined Houston’s staff as an associate head coach. But he has an out clause if a head coaching job becomes available

A coach normally has to receive permission from his current team to talk to another. In Sampson’s case, he can talk to any team he wishes…

This sheds a positive light on Sampson. The Rockets wanted him so badly, they’re willing to chance losing him and shuffling their staff late in the offseason.

11 Comments

  • Jul 12, 20112:46 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    What difference does it make whether they make a hire today or in a month?

    • Jul 12, 20112:48 pm
      by Jason

      Reply

      WTF??

      This is what i actually wrote….

      What difference does it make whether they make a hire today or in a month?

      On top of that, as you mentioned – the longer we wait, the more the chances are that we’ll lose candidates to other teams..  Players are going overseas, could coaching prospects potentially do the same thing? (Probably less likely, but you never know… They need paychecks too!)

      • Jul 12, 20113:26 pm
        by Jason

        Reply

        Something is going on with comments… It’s deleting entire paragraphs that I typed.. Just thght i’d mention!

  • Jul 12, 20112:47 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    What difference does it make whether they make a hire today or in a month?

  • Jul 12, 20113:49 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    Excellent. I wanted no part of this guy.

    • Jul 12, 20114:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Sadly, my preferred candidate has yet to even get an interview.

    • Jul 13, 20117:52 am
      by khandor

      Reply

      Agreed. Thus far, Kelvin Sampson has not shown in any way – e.g. from his career in the NCAA or as an NBA assistant – that he warrants future consideration as a top notch head coach in the Association … with the possible exception of receiving a personal endorsement from Gregg Popovich. I was Joe D., I would not be interested in hiring KS as the Pistons next head coach, when there are other better candidates still on the table.

  • Jul 12, 20114:23 pm
    by BBFFL

    Reply

    HIRE PATRICK EWING.HE’LL HAVE THE PLAYERS RESPECT.THATS WHAT WE NEED.HE ALSO AD’S STAR POWER TO THE PISTONS.(hall of famer).he can get monroe,and macklin ,wilcox motivated to say the least.HE’S READY.1ST HEAD COACHING OPPURTUNITY.HELLI’AM EXCITED THINKING ABOUT IT.COUNTLESS OPPUTUNITIES HERE.

  • Jul 12, 20114:28 pm
    by Brian P

    Reply

    I know that Joe D marches to a different drummer than the rest of us, but there is no universe or alternate reality where Kelvin Sampson is our number one candidate. An acceptable choice? To some, perhaps. The preferred choice? Not by a wide margin.

  • Jul 12, 20114:49 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Rambis got fired… Odds that Lambieer gets the HC job? Otherwise I don’t really mind. Sampson wasn’t high on my list… Lambieer, Adelman and Ewing are though and I hope one of them gets the job.

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