Kelvin Sampson’s frustrations with the Rockets


Prior to landing the position of head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Houston, Kelvin Sampson had worked at the NBA level for six years. Sampson was first hired as a consultant for the San Antonio Spurs and then was hired as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets.

Sampson joined the coaching staff of Rockets coach Kevin McHale in 2011, at a time when the Rockets weren’t good enough to be a playoff team, but were also not at the bottom of. the league. In other words, the Rockets were exactly where a franchise doesn’t want to be.

A beard-sized trade would completely change the team’s reach as the Rockets traded for James harden before the start of the 2012-13 season. With a trio of Harden, Jeremy lin, and Chandler Parsons, the Rockets were a young, hungry group that was fun to watch.

The Rockets made their way to 8th and final place in the Western Conference, which wasn’t bad considering these were both Harden and Lin’s first seasons with the franchise. In this offseason, the Rockets signed a popular free agent Dwight Howard, who left a potential $ 30 million on the Los Angeles Lakers table to join the young and hungry Rockets.

In 2013-14, the Rockets’ superstar duo Howard and Harden finished fourth in the West, posting a 54-28 record, improving 9 wins from their 45 record. -37 in 2012-13. But the Rockets were knocked out in the first round this season, much like they did the year before.

After 3 seasons with the Rockets, Sampson left his assistant coach position to become the 9th head basketball coach in Houston Cougars history. On Monday, Sampson joined Sirius XM Introducing the NBA Draft Preview and shared some of his frustrations from those Rockets teams from 2011 to 2014.

“I remember when I was with the Rockets. We had really athletic kids.

But they didn’t chase the guys or try to get the ball stuck in the backcourt. They didn’t go over the rim and didn’t get the rebound back. They did not use their length to enter the passing lanes.

They were basically dunk show guys. “

Sampson made the comments while discussing the perceived lack of athleticism of former Cougars player Quentin Grimes.

Since joining the Cougars, Sampson has become the most successful coach in the history of the men’s basketball program, winning 72.3% of his games and leading the Coogs to six seasons. consecutive 20 wins. Sampson and the Coogs reached the Final Four in 2021 and look set to have another run in 2021-22.

Sampson received a contract extension in 2019, which puts him under contract until 2027 when he turns 71.

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