By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – At his introductory press conference, Sam Hinkie said that it was more important for the Sixers to find the right coach, than to find that coach quickly. He never said he couldn’t do them both.
According to a report from the Inquirer’s John Mitchell, the Sixers have received permission to interview Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson.
Hinkie said on Tuesday that one of the most important things he’ll find in a coach, along with work ethic and ability to evaluate personnel, is a “shared philosophy about X’s and O’s.” Hinkie is known for his belief and expertise in basketball analytics, but stressed that his coach does not necessarily have to have the same skills. I think it’s all too often overstated about how analytically minded a head coach needs to be. They all want to win, and they all try to use the best information they can,” he said.
If Hinkie is choosing to interview Sampson, it would be safe to assume that Sampson meets most, if not all of that criteria. It doesn’t mean that it automatically makes him a favorite to get the job, but where one candidate would have to convince Hinkie of those qualities, Sampson has a leg up in that respect.
Sampson, 57 years old, has been an assistant coach in Houston since 2011, and was with the Bucks from 2008 until 2011. He’s made stops as a head coach in the college ranks (Oklahoma, Indiana, Montana State), but never in the NBA. So far this off-season he’s been tied to both the Bucks and the Bobcats coaching vacancies.
Names previously tied to the Sixers head coaching vacancy are Jeff Hornacek, Mike Malone, Brian Shaw, Michael Curry, Aaron McKie and Mike Budenholzer.