Move over Phil Jackson, Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has emerged as "a significant candidate for the Brooklyn Nets' head coaching job," according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Phil Jackson is likely still the top name on general manager Billy King's wish list, but Woj reports that King is "intrigued" by Sampson and that the Nets' GM is expected to speak with Sampson about the position.
Brooklyn jettisoned Avery Johnson earlier this week when the team dropped to 14-14 on the season, and since that time wild rumors have emerged about who will be the next man to take over the head coaching position for one of the most prominent franchises in the NBA. P.J. Carlesimo was installed as the interim coach after the team severed ties with Johnson, but it's clear the Nets are searching for a long-term answer right now.
Brooklyn native and former NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. attempted to toss his name into the mix on Friday, calling the position a dream job during a radio interview, but nothing much has developed beyond that statement.
Sampson was a two-time NCAA National Coach of the Year winner at the University of Oklahoma, but he has never been a head coach in the NBA. Sampson served as an assistant under Scott Skiles with the Milwaukee Bucks for three seasons before joining the Houston Rockets' coaching staff as an assistant coach under Kevin McHale in the 2012-13 NBA season.