Rockets Name Kelvin Sampson Lead Assistant Coach

by July 13, 2011
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After failing to win the main gig, Kelvin Sampson joined Kevin McHale’s coaching staff in Houston. The Chronicle reports: “More than two months after Kelvin Sampson interviewed for the Rockets’ coaching job that eventually went to Kevin McHale, Sampson ended up on the Rockets’ bench anyway. McHale picked Sampson to be his lead assistant, a person with knowledge of the decision said Tuesday, with the Rockets reaching agreements in principle to hire Sampson and Timberwolves assistant J.B. Bickerstaff to join McHale’s staff. The Rockets had previously promoted Rio Grande Valley Vipers coach Chris Finch from their NBA Development League affiliate. Sampson, the former Oklahoma and Indiana coach who was one of the first candidates interviewed for the Rockets’ head coaching position, was expected to be considered for the Detroit Pistons’ and Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coaching jobs. Sampson on Tuesday declined to comment on the decision or his interest in the assistant coaching position but did say he learned a great deal about the Rockets organization in his 14-hour interview, comparing it to taking the ACT and SAT back-to-back.”