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Report: Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson serious candidate for Nets job

Dec 28, 2012, 1:57 PM EDT

Kelvin Sampson AP

When Rockets coach Kevin McHale took time away from the Rockets to be with his family and his ailing daughter (who passed away), Kelvin Sampson did a good job as coach in tough circumstances. The Rockets started to find their identity with him as coach and while they went just 7-6 with him in the big chair they have played better lately and are now 16-12 on the season).

People noticed, including people in the front office of the Nets, who are looking for a coach after firing Avery Johnson.

Sampson has become a serious candidate early on for the Nets job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (as well as the NBC Sports Network).

Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has emerged as a significant candidate for the Brooklyn Nets’ head-coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports…

Nets general manager Billy King is intrigued with Sampson, among other candidates, and is expected to eventually speak with him, sources said.

Sampson is not the big, sexy name owner Mikhail Prokhorov reportedly wants — that would likely be Phil Jackson. Or maybe Stan Van Gundy or Nate McMillan. A number of them will get calls as well.

But coaches who can pick and choose jobs may look at that Nets roster and be hesitant (the Nets are pretty locked into the Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez combo for years to come). But Sampson might be different, can connect with players and likely would do well in the role.

All reports are that the Nets are not going to rush this process, rather they will take their time in making a choice. But Sampson’s name seems to be in that mix.

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