The Philadelphia 76ers are in search of a new coach, and it can be hard to make sense of all the rumors circulating about who that man will be.
The playoffs do, however, dictate how long it will take for Philly to truly examine each and every candidate.
There are certain coaches that are still a part of their respective teams, and the Sixers need to wait until they are done coaching to interview those specific candidates.
Still though, the need to wait isn’t going to stop us from speculating on who will be the right man for the job. Let’s try to make sense of rumors regarding Philadelphia’s coaching search.
Philadelphia’s current players don’t get to pick the next head coach, but they certainly aren’t shy about who they think it should be.
Michael Curry has been an assistant coach with the Sixers for the past four seasons, and some of Philly’s players believe that he should be the next head coach.
I think he was the glue to our team last year. Obviously we were defensive-based, which is big for us. That was our calling card, and Mike was responsible for that.
We really don't have a lot of room to start all over again when you look at us.
Evan Turner echoed Holiday’s words by saying, “I think it would be great for the organization. We respect Mike.”
This wouldn’t be Curry’s first attempt at being a head coach since he finished the 2008-09 season with a 39-43 record after coaching the Detroit Pistons.
It’s possible that Curry’s positive relationship with Philly’s current players could help to influence the Sixers’ front office, but that really can’t have too much sway.
Looking at a coach within the organization is standard protocol.
It doesn’t mean that Curry has a higher chance of getting the job, though.
Mike Malone/Jeff Hornacek
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the Sixers interviewing two people for the head coaching position.
Those two men are Mike Malone and Jeff Hornacek.
Wojnarowski had this to say about Malone:
Malone has been a top assistant under Mark Jackson (Golden State), Monty Williams (New Orleans) and Mike Brown (Cleveland). Over the past two years with the Warriors, he's been the NBA's top-paid assistant coach.
The Warriors are engaged in a Western Conference playoff series with Denver, leading 3-2. It's possible Sixers officials could meet with Malone on a day off during the Warriors' playoff run, but that hasn't yet been determined.
Malone’s experience with this year’s Golden State Warriors team should help to support his case for getting the job. Philadelphia’s front office should be smart enough to recognize that Golden State’s team is similar to the Sixers in a lot of ways. Both teams are loaded with young talent at the guard position and play a similar up-and-down style of basketball.
The fact that Malone was the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coach probably didn’t slip anybody’s notice, either. You don’t get to that point without having earned it.
Giving somebody like him a shot could be a good move.
Jumping to the other candidate discussed, Hornicek would be an interesting hire for a unique reason.
He really doesn’t have much coaching experience.
Take a look at what Wojnarowski had to say about why he’s in the running for Philly’s job:
Hornacek played two seasons (1992-94) with the Sixers in his 14-year NBA playing career. He's been an assistant with the Jazz for two seasons now. He could be considered a candidate with the Phoenix Suns, where he played the first six years of his NBA career and still keeps a home.
If you read closely then you would have seen that he’s really only in the running because of his former playing days. Being a player with the Sixers for two seasons gives him a little foot in the door, but is it enough to warrant serious consideration?
Only time will tell.
Earlier this month I wrote an article about why Brian Shaw would be the perfect candidate to take over Philadelphia’s coaching vacancy.
I referenced John Mitchell’s article on Philly.com discussing Shaw’s name as a potential hire. Here’s what he had to say about him:
Shaw's name has come up frequently as a potential head coach in recent seasons. Last season, he came close to landing the Charlotte job - which is again vacant after Mike Dunlap was fired - and his name has also been mentioned in connection with the Detroit Pistons.
After retiring as a player in 2003, Shaw, who briefly played for the Sixers in 1998, joined the staff of the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won two championships as an assistant from 2004 to 2011. He has been an assistant in Indianapolis the last two seasons.
Shaw’s mixture of knowledge, experience and desire all give him an upper hand in this coaching race. Sure, all of these candidates are qualified in their own ways, but none has coached under such prominent head coaches and been talked about as a future head coach more than Shaw.
Learning from Phil Jackson has to be at the top of the list for every coach wanting to break into the game. Shaw was able to learn under him for seven years on top of playing before that.
It’s impossible to know if a certain coach will work out when he’s chosen, but it just feels like Shaw has the pedigree and fire necessary to successfully take Philadelphia to where it wants to go.