Has Mike D’Antoni really emerged as the front-runner for the 76ers’ head-coaching vacancy even though his style doesn’t fit the team? Or is this just a smokescreen? Multiple league sources say it’s for real. Sources have confirmed the team will interview the former Houston Rockets coach in the coming days. One source said the interview could come as early Wednesday. However, Sixers sources denied D’Antoni would interview that day. Asked if he would interview Thursday, sources said the dates of interviews have yet to be determined.
However, a league source said Tuesday that D’Antoni was preparing to head to this area to interview for the job.
But a league source said the job could be D’Antoni’s to lose. The source said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job, and said D’Antoni is the candidate they want. A team source denied that, saying the ownership won’t know who it wants until candidates are interviewed.
Some might think the coach and the Sixers' mutual attraction was a negotiating ploy for both parties, and that the Sixers could use interest in D’Antoni as a way to lower Lue’s asking price of $7 million and D’Antoni could use the Sixers' interest as a way to raise his price tag. But sources are saying he backed away from the Pacers gig because the Sixers' interest is real.
Adrian Wojnarowski: D’Antoni will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching opening, sources tell ESPN. D'Antoni was an assistant for several months under Brett Brown before accepting the Rockets job four years ago.
Howard Beck: It's been suggested to me that (Philadelphia) is where Mike D'Antoni would prefer to land. Suggested to me, I'm not saying that anybody's saying this definitively.
Dawn Staley is happy with her current job as the head women's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. But if the Philadelphia 76ers were to show interest in hiring her as their next head coach, she wouldn't ignore those calls. According to a source close to the USC women's basketball program, WACH FOX has been told that Staley would be open to having discussions with her hometown team if they were to reach out to her.
In the column, Staley told Hayes via text that she would "rather be in the stands than on the bench" when it comes to the 76ers. But on Sunday, less than a week after Hayes' column was published, a second source close to the situation told WACH FOX that to Staley, the idea of not only coaching in her hometown but breaking barriers for women in the NBA would be one "she'd definitely entertain."
It is believed that the franchise remains committed to building around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with the likely onus on figuring out the proper dynamics — on and off the floor — in the hands of the next coach. Keep an eye on the following potential coaching candidates, according to sources: 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, Villanova’s Jay Wright, and former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger.
January 25, 2021 | 1:29 am EST Update
The Kings picked up the final year of Bjelica’s contract during the offseason, which pays him $7.2 million this season. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer and at 32 years old (33 in May), it’s unlikely that he’s part of the plan going forward, especially with Bagley developing and playing major minutes at the power forward position. With Sacramento currently sitting at 6-10 on the season, there is a very good possibility that the team will be active between now and the trade deadline. Players like Bjelica, Robinson III, Joseph, Whiteside and Jabari Parker all are in the final year of their contracts.
Brooklyn center DeAndre Jordan affectionately shooed Adebayo away as well with a pat on the head. The scene after the Nets’ 128-124 win Saturday night at Barclays Center was surreal, but encapsulates the COVID era we’re living in. “I just want to follow NBA protocols,” Irving said with a wan laugh, before adding as he left the Zoom call “I have the jersey, by the way.”
When asked if Irving ever got that pink-and-blue Heat jersey, Adabayo just shrugged his shoulders and threw his hands up in the air, looking over at a Heat staffer and eventually bursting out into laughter. “Oh yeah, he definitely wants it. I’m going to send one on my own time,” Adabayo said of Irving. “Just want to do that on my own time, and have a special 41 up there, you know?”
Do the Sacramento Kings have a Nemanja Bjelica problem? The veteran forward has sat out the last six games as a healthy scratch. According to Luke Walton, Bjelica still is part of the team’s plan, but he’s dealing with a personal issue, which has played a role in his absence from the rotation. “There is some personal stuff and I’m just going to leave it at that,” Walton said earlier in the week when asked about Bjelica. “We have been in communication and we are very confident in the player he is still.”
While the team is focused long term on building around Fox and the team’s young core, including Tyrese Haliburton and Marvin Bagley, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Bjelica does have a personal issue that is playing a role in his absence from the court, although the exact nature of the issue is unknown at this time.
“Like I said before, it’s personal, I’m not going to get into somebody else’s personal business,” Walton said. “I’ve continued to say that I love coaching Bjelly. He’s a very good player and I look forward to having back on the court again.”