Those anonymous sources of ESPN’s have struck again. As of 1:08 Central time Friday, ESPN reports that Kelvin Sampson will get his next job after the Indiana University mess on Scott Skiles’ Bucks staff.
Apparently, Bucks owner Herb Kohl’s well-deserved reputation for making image-conscious personel decisions does not extend to the new regime of GM John Hammond. In Milwaukee, the basketball people are finally making the basketball decisions. Does that mean Sampson is a good hire? As I wrote in Friday AM’s Bob Boozer Jinx post, I think so.
Sampson’s resume — even the one still posted on the official Indiana Basketball site — is impressive and extends far beyond his stints at the universities of Indiana and Oklahoma. He’s been one of the more active US coaches working in international ball, including the assistant coaching job (under George Karl) with the 2002 World Championship team. In 2005-06 he coached in the 8-team Army tournament “Operation Hardwood – Hoops with the Troops” program along with Tom Izzo and others.
Sampson’s reputation and coaching career will outlive the Indiana “violations” scandal, which can be interpreted as Part 2 of the NCAA’s crackdown on Oklahoma. In other words, what happened at Indiana has more to do with Indiana telling the NCAA “we are not Oklahoma” than it does with Sampson. The most serious charge against Sampson — dishonesty — the ousted coach is still fighting.
And for Sampson, the Bucks job comes with perks — he’ll be allowed to use the phones.
What do other Bucks fans think? Good hire or bad move?