Woj: Rockets Assistant Kelvin Sampson a "significant" candidate for Nets job

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

And the names keep rolling out.

Minutes after Mike Dunleavy campaigned for the Nets head coaching job on his Sirius XM Radio show, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kelvin Sampson, the Rockets lead assistant, is a "significant" candidate for the Nets' head coaching job.

"Nets general manager Billy King is intrigued with Sampson, among other candidates, and is expected to eventually speak with him, sources said," wrote Woj, adding "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 Kevin McHale in Houston." Earlier this month, Popovich commended Sampson as a potential head coach. You could tell very quickly he had the ability to bring the respect of the players,” Popovich said.

Jonthan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle reports, that while the Nets may have significant interest in Sampson, "Sampson said he has not been contacted." Sampson reportedly has an "out" if offered an NBA contract, which could be important since teams can ask for compensation if an assistant is hired as a head coach by another team.

Sampson, a successful if controversial college coach at Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana, served as an assistant with the Bucks under Scott Skiles before moving on to Houston. He filled in for McHale when he was out following the death of his 22-year-old daughter. Sampson was 7-6 in those games.

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