The Milwaukee Bucks appear set to take the first step in finding their next head coach.
According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Bucks were granted permission to speak with Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson and will interview him in Milwaukee on Thursday.
Thought of as one of Milwaukee’s top targets, Sampson just finished his second season under Kevin McHale in Houston, as the Rockets finished 45-37 and took top-seeded Oklahoma City to Game 6 before falling Friday night at home to end their season.
Prior to joining the Rockets, Sampson spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Bucks, joining Scott Skiles’ staff prior to the 2008-09 season.
Sampson headed to the NBA after his long college coaching career ended poorly. With head coaching experience at Montana Tech, Washington State and Oklahoma, Sampson was named the head coach at Indiana University in 2006.
The Hoosiers went 22-11 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament in Sampson’s first season and were 22-4 in his second season when he was suspended in late February of 2008. He would later resign amidst a scandal surrounding the program due to impermissible recruiting phone calls.
Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that former Seattle and Portland head coach Nate McMillan will interview with the Bucks sometime this week, as well. The veteran coach has already interviewed with Detroit.
In parts of 12 seasons leading the Sonics and Blazers, McMillan has a 478-452 career record, making the playoffs five times and advancing out of the first round once.