Report: Milwaukee Bucks’ coaching search down to three finalists
The Milwaukee Bucks have scheduled second interviews with three head coaching candidates, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski: Hawks coach Larry Drew, Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and Lakers assistant Steve Clifford.
Clifford will re-visit Milwaukee on Tuesday, while Sampson and Drew will return on Wednesday, the report states.
Drew, who has led the Hawks to a 128-102 record in three seasons, is expected to leave Atlanta when his contract expires on June 30.
Sampson and Clifford appear to have the strongest ties to the Bucks. Both are “strong candidates” for the Bobcats’ job, but are more attracted by the Bucks’ opening, according to Wojnarowski.
Clifford joined the Lakers last season after five years as an assistant under Stan Van Gundy in Orlando, while Sampson enjoyed his greatest success as a head coach at Oklahoma for 13 years.
Milwaukee let go of interim head coach Jim Boylan, who replaced the fired Scott Skiles in January, after its first-round loss to the Heat.
From the report:
Bucks general manager John Hammond has a stronger history with Sampson – who spent two years on the Milwaukee staff under Scott Skiles – but has been increasingly impressed with the possibilities with Clifford, sources said. Clifford has come strongly recommended by three former coaching colleagues that Hammond respects – Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau and Stan and Jeff Van Gundy.
In his two years in Houston, Sampson has grown as an NBA coach after decades of success in the college game. He had a strong run as the Rockets’ interim coach, while Kevin McHale had to leave the team for several weeks.