Ujiri met with Jasikevicius, 42, in Europe in recent days, and he’s become another candidate to replace Dwane Casey. Jasikevicius led Zalgiris of Lithuania to the EuroLeague Final Four this season. He played collegiately at Maryland for Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams, had stops in the NBA with Indiana and Golden State, and had a decorated EuroLeague career.
October 15, 2018 | 8:53 am EDT Update
KC Johnson: Deadline for Bobby Portis extension is 5 pm Central. Sides are talking. In 2012, Portis’ agent negotiated extension for Taj Gibson with Bulls management minutes before deadline. Will history repeat?
Finishing above .500 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2012 was an accomplishment for a team that had gone through a tumultuous rebuilding stage and won just 10 games in 2015-16 This season, the 76ers believe they are capable of more — so much more. “We believe we could have played in the NBA Finals,” Brown said. “I understand the magnitude of that statement, but I stand by it and I own it. It is our goal to go play in an NBA Final and it is a respect of championship habits, it’s a respect of each other.”
Though more than a couple of voices characterize the Sixers as “Jo’s team,” there’s a common belief inside the organization that Simmons is every bit the killer Embiid is. And Simmons, who keeps a close-knit circle with his brothers at its center, is starting to spend more time at the facility at the urging of those confidants, who felt it was time his daily habits reflect that competitiveness so evident in live games.
So what does a culture defined by the Sixers’ young superstars look like? Is there sufficient oxygen in Philadelphia for Simmons, a far more introverted personality than the vocal Embiid, to contribute to the collective identity? Can Simmons be satisfied with broad admiration for his competitiveness and selflessness as a player, if Embiid is beloved as a charismatic leader? Many inside the franchise believe that the dynamic will reveal itself over time, as it does in any marriage. “Those guys are still figuring it out,” JJ Redick says. “They’re evolving players, but even more important, they’re evolving people.”
Jeremy Lamb won’t resent it if you’re surprised he won the starting shooting guard spot for the Charlotte Hornets. “If my rookie year somebody had told me I’d be in the league six years later, seven years later, and have a chance to start, I wouldn’t have believed him,” Lamb said following practice Sunday.
“Say you tear your ACL or Achilles,” Fultz says. “The first time you do your rehab, no matter what you do, your first step out of the boot, you’re going to think that your foot … it doesn’t feel right, but what is it? If something happens to you, you’re automatically going to start thinking about it because you’re normal. You wanna figure out what it is. And just trying to figure things out, you’re gonna fry your brain. I didn’t have any special mental illness. It was a normal mental thing of just trying to figure out what was going on and just working through it.”
“I’ve put in so much work, I wasn’t really worried about anything,” Fultz says as he catches a glimpse of a Sixers preview segment on NBA TV on a far wall at the team’s training facility. “I saw the media and I was kind of smiling, because I was like, ‘They probably can’t wait for this moment right here.’ I’m pretty sure a lot of them were probably thinking, ‘Oh, he’s gonna miss.’ I just made both free throws — shutting up the haters.”
This summer Brown oversaw basketball operations while ownership went in search of Colangelo’s replacement. The Sixers had initially gone big-game hunting, and a number of veteran general managers had reached out through intermediaries to inquire about what was now the most coveted executive opening in the NBA. Discussions with Rockets GM Daryl Morey were “pretty far down the road,” according to a source close to the process, but Morey elected to remain in Houston.