Despite word that the Philadelphia 76ers have narrowed their head coaching search to two - current assistant Michael Curry and San Antonio assistant Brett Brown - Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the team continues to interview every interested candidate under the sun:
Philadelphia has been granted permission to interview Portland assistant David Vanterpool for its head coaching job, league source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 26, 2013
Vanterpool, 40, graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1995, and spent the next twelve years playing professional basketball overseas (interspersed with a brief 22-game stint with the Washington Wizards in 2000-01). After a brief assistant coaching stint with CSKA Moscow, Vanterpool spent two years as the head scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder before joining the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach last August.
In an interesting twist, Wojnarowski reported in June 2012 that Vanterpool was considered for the Thunder's vacant assistant general manager position after Rob Hennigan took his talents to Orlando last summer.
Two well-regarded front office execs likely in line for promotions w/ hirings in Orlando: David Vanterpool (OKC) and George David (Detroit).— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2012
Vanterpool's biggest claim to fame to date is the fact that he's essentially served as Damian Lillard's mentor since joining the Blazers. In an interview prior to last season, Lillard had nothing but glowing things to say about the assistant coach:
"I've been working with coach David a lot," Lillard said. "Even when I first got here we got up every morning to work out before the team workouts and all the lifting. I think we're building a relationship. I ride with him to the track to do conditioning. We talk there and back... Me and David, we really hit it off when I first got here... We've been working on a lot of pick-and-rolls, in-between stuff, floaters, pull-up jumpers, keeping it simple."
"They say players like coaches who sweat with them," Lillard said. "Every morning, he's out there sweating with me. Working hard with me. He's kind of a younger guy, he knows how we are. He knows how it is, what we like to do, what we're interested in. To have someone like that who is around, a coach, who isn't afraid to get on you, to tell you what you need to hear, instead of what you want to hear, it's always a good thing."
Resume aside, the 76ers should hire Vanterpool largely because he has the best last name of anyone that they've interviewed so far. The day that he's hired by the Sixers would herald the start of the "David Vanterpool Era", a nod to the "Alexander Vanderpool Era" that Boyz II Men attempted to start in the early '90s with their prep school look.
If the Sixers aren't going to win many games next year, at least they can look good on their way to the arena.