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Question: Any chance of getting Dawn Staley as the coach? — Deirdre Childress Hopkins from Facebook. Answer: First off, it’s great to hear from you, Deirdre, and thanks for the question. My colleague Marcus Hayes wrote recently that the Sixers should interview Staley because of her accomplishments as a player and a coach. I would hope that if the Sixers interview her that it just wouldn’t be for public relations reasons and that they would truly be considering her. I have been on record saying that I think the Sixers need somebody with NBA head-coaching experience, who can push Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and I still think they will go that way. That doesn’t mean that somebody like Staley wouldn’t work and she would be a fascinating hire. There is always a chance the Sixers could go this route, but I don’t think it will happen.
Even as his Clippers braced to face the Nuggets in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals beginning Thursday, Rivers sounds like he’s rooting for Lue, and happy his assistant’s name is at the top of the wish lists for the Nets. And 76ers. And whoever else. “He’s been great. He’s been great. I’m glad it is. He deserves it,” Rivers said Wednesday via Zoom. “It’s a joke that he’s not a head coach, but it’s to my advantage that he’s not.”
Golden State Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown could be in the mix for the 76ers' head-coaching vacancy. A league source says communications are happening on that front. Will he get an interview? To be determined. The Sixers fired Brett Brown on Monday after seven seasons. The organization is looking for a veteran coach to push All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue is a candidate for the Sixers job. Multiple sources have said Lue and the Sixers have mutual interest. Lue would bring an NBA-championship resume (Cavaliers, 2016). He also won consecutive NBA titles as a reserve guard for the Lakers in 2000 and 2001. His second title came against the Sixers.
The Sixers plan for a head coach will focus on LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue, sources said. Lue won a championship in 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach, and his ability to challenge and command the respect of high-level players makes him attractive to the Sixers -- and others -- in this job market.
Storyline: 76ers Coaching Search
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September 26, 2020 | 7:47 am EDT Update
Fox is the team’s best chance to accomplish that goal, although McNair has to make a major commitment to the former Kentucky Wildcat this season. League sources have confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings, under previous management, already had a discussion with Fox’s representation on an extension. Depending on where the NBA’s final salary cap numbers come in, Fox is eligible for a five-year max money contract worth between $150-180 million. Don’t expect a discounted rate. He will ask for and likely get whatever the maximum is allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
Ntilikina and Smith both are in the final years of their rookie contracts and haven’t lit the league on fire yet. They have vastly different styles. Ntilikina is a playmaker and defender, while Smith is a scorer and penetrator. Smith has even changed his jersey number to No. 4 — which he wore at North Carolina State. “We’re three days in, so I’m getting to know both guys,’’ Thibodeau said after the third day of voluntary group practices that is part of the NBA’s in-market OTAs for the “Delete 8.’’
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“I like what they’ve done so far. They got to continue to work. There’s often times ups and downs for young players. There’s a learning curve they have to go through. Some experiences will be better than others. “They both have had some good moments in the league. You want to build a consistency. And how do you get there? You have to do it through your work. You have to learn from the experiences. And you have to be disciplined. And so, hopefully we can get there this is a very important offseason for both players.”
As it happened, Butler’s hard-nosed approach wasn’t accepted by Minnesota’s ownership, management or their young players. Butler asked to be traded and Thibodeau was soon out of a job. “Butler didn’t like some of the guys’ lack of professionalism,” one NBA source told The Post. “[Jimmy] and Tom had long talks about how to deal with it. When Butler realized it was unsolvable, he lashed out at the organization. His clock was ticking on his prime and didn’t want to waste it and forced his way out. Tommy was telling him to have patience, see it through.”
Boston overcame a 12-point first-half deficit, its largest comeback when facing elimination in 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. “Boston played great in that second half,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They deserved and earned what they got. We understand how tough it is to win in the playoffs. We did not compete hard enough defensively, and we paid the price for that. But you do have to credit Boston. They played with great force, particularly off the dribble.”
During a huddle in the second half, coach Brad Stevens told his players that, for the first time in several games, they were playing Celtics basketball. Though this was probably obvious to anyone who has watched this conference finals series, it was a powerful statement that spoke to both how much of a departure the Celtics’ recent efforts have been from their ideal selves, and to Boston’s potential to be a two-way monster when the players are confident and aggressive. “He was absolutely right, we didn’t play the way we wanted the whole series,” Theis said. “We didn’t play our defense, we did adjustments and we just went back to our system the way we played all year. Everybody felt comfortable in our system. You could tell in the third quarter everybody was just enjoying being out there.”
With a berth in the NBA Finals on the line, Adebayo wanted all the blame for Miami’s ugly second half and the 121-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “I played like s— — bottom line — (and) I can’t,” said Adebayo, who finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but along with his Heat teammates couldn’t slow the Celtics during a 41-point, third-quarter outburst and couldn’t stop Boston from trimming the Heat’s series lead to 3-2. “I’ll put that game on me,” he continued. “It’s not my teammates’ fault. It’s not my coaches’ fault. It’s me. I missed too many shots I should have made. … I wasn’t being the defensive anchor I should’ve been. I don’t think I was communicating fast enough. I feel like I was a step behind today. I wasn’t a difference-maker today. I didn’t get us into fast enough triggers. That’s on me.”
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