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Ralph Sampson expresses interest in rejoining the Rockets organization

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

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.

Sampson was at the Rockets practice at Toyota Center on Tuesday.

The Rockets are not commenting on their search for a new head coach for their NBA D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, to replace Nick Nurse who is now an assistant with the Toronto Raptors.

"We've had some light conversations while I was here, but nothing transpired yet," Sampson said. "I think they know I want to coach or be involved. I'd be interested in any position at this point that works for me and works for the Rockets. If that's the case, if it's RGV or here in Houston with community service."

Sampson most recently spent one season with the Phoenix Suns as the assistant player development coordinator.

That stint ended after the 2012-2013 season.

"I was with the Phoenix Suns last year and it was a nightmare to say the least, but I learned a lot," Sampson said. "I just want to be with some good people, people I respect and the city I love, which obviously would be here.

"I don't like to lose. You start losing, things start to go south. Coaches get fired. Management gets fired. Just a nightmarish of a year with any team when you lose."

Sampson's job with the Suns marked his return to the NBA after retiring as a player in 1991.

He said it would mean a great deal to him if he is able to rejoin the Rockets organization, the team that made him the 1st overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft.

"You come full circle," Sampson said. Houston, it's my first NBA city. If there was ever a team I wanted to get involved with, it would definitely be Houston.

"It would be really good for me and also what I can now bring to the city as a Hall of Famer as well."

Sampson, who was a three-time NCAA Player of the year and four-time NBA All-Star, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.

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