Philadelphia 76ers Rumors
Simmons isn’t wasting any time growing into his role as a spokesperson. The Sixers guard will be one of the keynote speakers on day three of the ESports Business Summit next month. The event will be held virtually October 27-29, but for someone who can sometimes be the first one out of the Sixers locker room after games, and is often guarded with how he is portrayed and who has access to him, Simmons is more than comfortable in the gaming world.
As a Los Angeles Lakers player, Lue won NBA titles in 2000 and 2001 while playing with Hall of Famers and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, who like Simmons and Embiid didn’t always get along. As a coach, Lue won the 2016 NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James, one of the best to play basketball, was the headliner of that squad. In addition to being the only candidate with a championship pedigree, he knows a thing or two about dealing with all-time greats.
Lue is scheduled to interview for the job on Tuesday, according to multiple sources. One has to wonder if he thinks his meeting could just be a formality and/or insurance in case former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, whose job it is to lose, doesn’t accept the job. Back on Aug. 25, the day after Brett Brown was fired, Lue was the prime candidate. He and the Sixers had mutual interest. The thought was that his recruitment for the job would pick up once the Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs.
But it’s hard to criticize the Sixers for not hiring a qualified Black coach when, in fact, Brand, the person publicly in charge of leading the decision, is another Black male. Yet, as first noted Wednesday, this coaching search has been eye-opening for several league sources. The sources have said it’s hard to tell who’s in charge because of ownership’s earlier-than-expected involvement. Sources have been saying for weeks that the job is D’Antoni’s to turn down. They say he’s the guy the ownership group wants. One source even said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job.
Now, word is leaking out that Brand is pushing hard for the Sixers to hire D’Antoni and that Embiid gave his blessing. According to multiple sources, Embiid is happy that he’ll face the basket instead of posting up in D’Antoni’s proposed five-out system. D’Antoni’s plan is to move Tobias Harris back to power forward. The Sixers will also make trades if he’s hired, according to reports. The expectation is that he’ll have a say in picking players for his freewheeling style of play.
But what about Lue? Source have said his progress has been different. So far, his candidacy has consisted of just discussions with Brand, according to sources. The GM did not meet with him in person like other candidates in the first round of interviews. Nor has Lue heard from anyone in the ownership group.