Kelvin Sampson has never been an NBA head coach, but that could change in the near future. He has had a very successful career as a college coach, but did run into some trouble with rule violations during his time with the Indiana Hoosiers. Despite that rough patch in his career, Sampson could be on his way to the NBA.
According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Orlando Magic are targeting Sampson to be their next head coach. Frank Vogel was fired soon after the season ended. He had two years in Orlando that did not live up to the expectations that management had for the team.
Bleacher Report did share a bit of their opinion on the potential move for the Magic to hire Sampson.
“Sampson would be a surprising choice for the Magic given lack of NBA head-coaching experience coupled with his age, but Orlando might as well take a chance on somebody out of left field.”
At this point in time, what does the struggling franchise have to lose? That seems to be the overall opinion of most when they hear about this potential hiring.
Orlando would be making a bold move to reach down into the college ranks for Sampson. He has been an assistant coach in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets before heading back to the NCAA to take on another head coaching job. Leaving his job with the Houston Cougars would be a tough decision, but one that he would likely make.
Report: Orlando leaning toward hiring Kelvin Sampson as head coach https://t.co/eZ6dXoWNDa
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 16, 2018
During his 29 years as a college coach, Sampson has put together a 581-320 record. That record rounds out to a 64.5 winning percentage. Orlando needs a coach that can lead them to wins and Sampson has quite a few of those in his career.
Sampson may not be a very popular choice for most, but he might be the kind of guy that can turn the Magic around. Vogel was expected to be that guy, but never seemed to gain full control of the locker room. Orlando finished with just 54 wins in two seasons under Vogel.
Expect to hear more about the Magic’s coaching search in the near future. Sampson seems to be the target that they are most interested in at this point in time, but there are plenty of other options out there for them to look into.
Orlando needs to right the ship and their next head coach will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.