Ralph Sampson Rumors
Hall of Fame center Ralph Sampson, who played for the Houston Rockets from 1983-1987, is interested in rejoining the organization and that includes being a candidate to become the head coach of the team’s NBA Development League team. “I expressed an interest in being a part of the Rockets in any capacity,” Sampson said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
Ralph Sampson was part of the pitch to bring Dwight Howard to Houston — he’s a Hall of Famer and part of the Rockets history of big men. But like a guy who has been through the long grind of an NBA season, Sampson knows assembling good players is like having all the ingredients to make Pad Thai — putting it together in a way that works is something else entirely. “You got a good start (in Houston), you got the makings of a good foundation, now the coaching staff and everybody’s got to put it together,” Sampson told ProBasketballTalk during the adidas Nations high school showcase, where Sampson was a coach. “The pieces are coming together but it’s an 82-game season a lot of things can happen as far as injuries or other situations.”
It’s difficult to see what lies ahead for Sampson. He’d like to continue working in the NBA. He has started writing a motivational book and plans an autobiography. And while his future may seem uncertain, perhaps that’s better than 30 years ago, when everyone was so sure they knew how wonderfully it would turn out.
One of his roles is to mentor post players such as 6-foot-11 center Marcin Gortat. “I can say 100 percent he’s the best thing that happened to me this year, and quite honestly I never had a better coach,” Gortat said. “If I get traded, I’m definitely going to take him with me. I’m ready to pay him from my own salary, actually.”
Ralph Sampson is back in the NBA as a member of the Phoenix Suns player development team. When someone commented to Sean Rooks, another former NBA center and member of the Suns development team, that Sampson, now 52, doesn’t look 7-4, Rooks put his arms up straight and said, “When he does this, he is 7-4, believe me.”
The Suns go 7 feet 4, 6-10 and 6-10 across the front line. And that’s just the player development staff. The Suns hired former Arizona Wildcats center and 12-year NBA veteran Sean Rooks as a player development coach while newly enshrined Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson also will assist player development for at least the month. It is part of the Suns’ May pledge to bolster the player development staff, now headed by Lindsey Hunter and helped by Suns Vice President of Player Programs Mark West.
Coach Tubby Smith said C Ralph Sampson III was invited to the Portsmouth Invite — an annual tournament featuring NBA prospects — and will try to compete despite missing the last seven games of the season because of a knee injury. “He still has to get stronger, but hopefully he will be able to compete,” he said.
Five-time All-Star Reggie Miller and longtime coach Don Nelson are among a dozen players, coaches and teams that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 was announced Monday in New Orleans, the site of the Final Four. Also elected were two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, three-time college player of the year Ralph Sampson, four-time NBA champion Jamaal Wilkes, longtime referee Hank Nichols, and the All-American Red Heads, the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Former college basketball and NBA star Ralph Sampson was jailed Tuesday in Gwinnett County on several charges, Gwinnett Detention Center records show. Sampson, a 7-foot-4 center for the University of Virginia and several NBA teams, reportedly was arrested in Peachtree Corners on Tuesday when Gwinnett Police stopped his car for an expired tag. A further check showed that Sampson had an outstanding warrant from Duluth Police and that he had a suspended license for child support obligations. The warrant reportedly was for a 2008 charge for failure to appear for an insurance citation.
College basketball great and four-time NBA All-Star Ralph Sampson is free after being jailed for several hours in Gwinnett County for numerous traffic violations. But Sampson, 51, says police got one accusation wrong. “My license was not suspended for failure to meet child support obligations of any kind,” he said in an email sent Wednesday afternoon to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The former Houston Rockets center, who lives in Duluth, was arrested Tuesday night for having, among other things, a suspended license that was the result of failure to meet child support obligations, according to police reports.
It appears the Gophers men’s basketball team won’t lose Ralph Sampson III after all. In a text message to 1500 ESPN on Monday afternoon, “U” athletic director Joel Maturi said he expects the 6-11 center to return for his senior season. Sampson declared for the NBA Draft on April 28 but apparently did not hire an agent. Sunday was the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw their names from the early- entry pool.
By Sunday night, the majority of early entrants had announced their intentions to remain in or exit the NBA draft pool. Gophers center Ralph Sampson III, however, stayed quiet. But multiple reports stated the junior’s tenure at the University of Minnesota ended over the weekend. The NCAA deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the draft and restore their college eligibility — assuming they hadn’t hired agents — was 10:59 p.m. Sunday. “Ralph is staying in the draft,” said Norman Parker, Sampson’s former AAU coach. “He feels like it’s his time.”
Ralph Sampson III is serious about a pro career and he’s hired one of the top trainers in the game to help him reach the next level. He’s currently working out in Chicago with Tim Grover, who trained Michael Jordan during the prime of his All-Star career. He currently trains NBA stars Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade. Grover’s Attack Athletics is a hub for future and current NBA players. Keith Kreiter, an agent who represents former Gophers forward Paul Carter, said both Carter and Sampson recently endured intense workouts at Grover’s Attack Athletics facility in Chicago under Grover’s watch.
Gophers center Ralph Sampson III has entered the NBA draft, according to the list of early entrants released by the league Thursday morning.
My source, however, said there are no guarantees of that because some influential people in Sampson’s life have encouraged him to stay in the draft. If Sampson intends to play for the Gophers next season, he’ll have to withdraw from the draft by the NCAA-mandated May 8 deadline to preserve his collegiate eligibility. That deadline, however, only applies if he doesn’t have an agent. This could be an interesting two-week window for the Gophers, who recently lost Colton Iverson.
I don’t know if Sampson has hired an agent yet. But a source close to the program said he believes Sampson will ultimately return to school for his senior season. My source also said that Gophers coaches and even Ralph Sampson Jr., a former No. 1 draft pick, have encouraged Sampson to finish school. “Sampson should stay in school,” the source said. “He’s been told by coaches and his own dad.”
Scott Howard-Cooper: As noted by @Fran Blinebury, Ralph Sampson at Rockets game tonight ahead of Hall announcement in Houston amid strong signals Sampson is in.
A former NBA player could sneak in, elected via the ABA selection (though their biggest mark would have come in the now-defunct league) or the Early African -American Pioneers of the Game committee, the two groups Colangelo helped develop. Both committees were given the unique ability to choose one person for automatic induction, without having to become a finalist and then receive at least 18 of 24 votes for enshrinement. It’s often pointed out, by those around the NBA, that the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame is not the NBA Hall of Fame. We’ll find out Monday, when the inductees are revealed at collge basketball’s Final Four, whether the NBA will be represented at all this fall in Springfield, Mass.
Maybe one of the players previously passed over for enshrinement finally joins the Hall of Fame when the Class of 2011 is revealed Monday in Houston. That would fit well with the drive of Jerry Colangelo to ensure that candidates from the past do not get lost in the ages. The Hall chairman sees that as enough of a priority that he helped create a pair of old-timers’ committees that are each guaranteed one inductee a year. Or not. Maybe Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman, Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks and Ralph Sampson have another round of disappointment and no player with deep NBA roots get in this year. That would fit well with history — each has failed in previous bids, some several times. Mullin has missed five times in a row. He’ll be off the ballot the next five years if he is not elected this time.
The trophy case in the home of Ralph Sampson’s mother is about to get a little more crowded. Sampson, the 7-foot-4 Virginia center and three-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, joined seven others Monday, including coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton, as the newest members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. “I hope everybody who watched me play, at the collegiate level or the NBA level or any level, high school as well, enjoyed me while I was playing,” Sampson said in a conference call that included Cazzie Russell, the former Michigan great who was also named to the 2011 class. “I will cherish this the rest of my life. It will go along with my college player of the year award at my mother’s house.”
24 Feb 10