- Kelvin Sampson, John Hammond and Scott Skiles are talking a bit about Sampson's new job as a Bucks assistant.
"I've been the direct beneficiary of second and third chances in my own life, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to return the favor for some things people did for me," Skiles said.It's certainly interesting that Skiles and Hammond--two guys known for stressing accountability and character--would give Sampson another chance so soon after his latest high-profile run-in with the NCAA. Sampson isn't saying much about his exit from Indiana until a June hearing with the NCAA, but he does maintain innocence over the worst of the charges. Either way it's of little consequence for the Bucks, who Charles Gardner has a bit more on Sampson here.
But Skiles said that wasn't the main reason he hired Sampson. "The big, big reason is that he's a hell of a coach," Skiles said.
Bucks general manager John Hammond said the team didn't have any concerns about Sampson's character. "The circumstances that are involved in the NCAA are completely different from the NBA," Hammond said. "I don't want to say they're non-factors, but our game's a different game. Our rules are different, and how we handle things. So he's going to get a fresh start here in the NBA and I think he's going to be a great one."
- Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports the Bucks also considered going after Larry Brown before Scott Skiles.
Before settling on Scott Skiles as their coach, the Bucks were seriously thinking of making a run at Larry Brown. They asked candidates for their GM job for their opinion on Brown, who may have jumped the gun by going to Charlotte before the Dallas position opened. The prevailing thought was that the Bucks would improve in Brown's first year, but then he would be expecting them to compete for the title in year two and start making unrealistic demands.
- When Lawrence first wrote about the Bucks' hiring of Skiles a few weeks ago, he provided some ammo for the theory that John Hammond will not be looking to dump salary (read: Mo and Mike) and go into a full rebuild.
One Eastern Conference executive with knowledge of Skiles' thinking refuted the theory that Skiles took himself out of contention for the Knicks job because he knew that Mark Jackson is the heavy favorite. "The thing with Scott is that he wants to coach a playoff team," said the source. "So New York wasn't a good fit for him. As much as everyone wants Donnie to blow up that roster right away, he's not going to be able to do that. Scott does not want to go into a rebuilding situation. And, he's getting paid about what the Knicks are going to give their coach - $5 million per season."I wouldn't interpret that as meaning Redd and Williams are locks to stay, but at the very least we should expect the Bucks to be selective in the way they shop their prolific backcourt.
- The Bratwurst has their revised top ten prospects list up. I'll cherry-pick the important part:
The new Top-10 (and how they compare to their previous ranking):
1: Michael Beasley (still #1)
2: Derrick Rose (up 2 spots)
3: Kevin Love (down 1)
4: Richard Hendrix (down 1)
5: Anthony Randolph (up 6)
6: JJ Hickson (Winner of the Cedric Simmons award for "most likely to be a bust and screw up my methodology.") (up 2)
7: Mario Chalmers (down 2)
8: Marreese Speights (down 1)
9: Ty Lawson (down 3)
10: Kosta Koufos (up 3)
- After the Bratwurst wondered last week what might have happened if the Bucks drafted Chris Paul, the Bob Boozer Jinx takes a step further back and wonders what might have happened if the Bucks had never traded Sam Cassell.
- After we mentioned the connection between Sampson and his former recruit Eric Gordon, the gang at Ridiculous Upside asks if the connection could impact the Bucks' offseason. Alex and I both are skeptical of Gordon's readiness for the NBA, especially considering his only elite skill at this stage is scoring (21.5 ppg), and even in that department he wasn't terribly efficient.