Sampson to Clippers? Don’t bet on it
Kelvin Sampson’s NBA stock is soaring. His work with the Milwaukee Bucks as Scott Skiles’ assistant coach has drawn notice, as Milwaukee staged a breakout season.
Now Sampson is being mentioned in a variety of reports as a candidate to become head coach of either the Clippers or the Cavaliers.
Good for Sampson. I never saw him as an NBA coach, but heck, I wasn’t an NBA expert. Not much of one today. Maybe Sampson is the perfect NBA coach; offense sort of takes care of itself in the league. Pick’n roll. Drive and kick. Pass and cut. It’s not complicated.
What the best NBA coaches achieve is manage big personalities and get their players to sell out in effort. I don’t know how Sampson would do on the personality deal. You never know. But Sampson would do great on the effort factor. Sampson teams always played hard. Always. It was non-negotiable. Play hard or take a seat.
That’s why the Clippers would be a tough job for Sampson. The Clipper culture would drive Sampson nuts. Baron Davis? Are you kidding me?
I also don’t know how Blake Griffin would take the news. We’d always heard — though never confirmed the theory — that Blake was no Sampson fan. Taylor Griffin played two years for Sampson at OU, but talk was that Taylor and Blake weren’t crazy about Sampson and that Taylor might transfer if Sampson had stayed.
I assume the Clippers brass would talk to Blake Griffin before hiring Sampson. If Sampson ends up coaching the Clippers, I think we can safely discount all those old rumors about the Griffin/Sampson relationship.
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