As the Sixers prepare for this month’s NBA draft, a few teams around the league are still working to shore up their coaching situation. Now, many across the Delaware Valley will argue that the Sixers should be among that few, but Philadelphia seems to be moving into next season with Doc Rivers as head coach once more.
So let’s take a look at three bits of coaching news from around the league and pluck out some Sixers-adjacent storylines, shall we?
Snyder steps down
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder is planning to step down, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 5, 2022
After another disappointing playoff exit and weeks of whispers regarding his potential availability in the media, Quin Snyder ended his eight-year stint in Utah. The natural reaction of Sixers fan sickos (read: me) when this news broke, was to naturally hope that this was the signal to Daryl Morey to fire Rivers. Maybe now that a tenured, well-thought of, in-his-prime head coach was on the market, he’d say sayonara to Doc and look elsewhere. Don’t hold your breath. For whatever reason, Morey and company seem pot committed to the average doctor for the time being.
An aside: I’m not totally sure why Snyder escaped completely unscathed from Utah despite all their disappointing playoff exits (I remind you, I say this as someone who would fire Doc and hire him in a nanosecond). Year after year, Utah wins a ton of games and does zilch in the playoffs, but it seems like blame never sticks to him as it usually does other clipboard-holders. People love making fun of Rudy Gobert, the imperfect roster, the teensy market? Just wondering. Regardless, come home, Quin.
D’Antoni v. Atkinson for the Charlotte gig
As the franchise’s coaching search nears an end, the Charlotte Hornets are set to bring Mike D’Antoni to meet with owner Michael Jordan later this week, sources tell ESPN. D’Antoni will follow Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson, who’s expected to meet with Jordan on Tuesday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2022
Both Atkinson and D'Antoni have already met with management twice, and Hornets are expected to extend an offer to a candidate after the final round with Jordan.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2022
The biggest Sixers-related nugget here is that Mike D’Antoni was Daryl Morey’s longtime lieutenant in Houston, and the head coach of James Harden’s most fruitful seasons in the NBA. In recent months, there were murmurs that should Doc Rivers flee Philadelphia for the Lakers job or another, Morey could look to reunite Harden and MDA in Philly.
You may be confused if you only remember Game 6 of the Miami series — James Harden does in fact play for the Sixers.
Should D’Antoni land the Charlotte job, I personally won’t shed a tear. While I do think he’s a good coach with a ton of accomplishments under his belt, I’ve always felt a bit queasy about the idea of just becoming Rockets East: This Time Older. Morey, Harden, D’Antoni, hell, even Tad Brown. And then there’s Joel Embiid as the last vestige of the old guard Sixers. I don’t know, I’d like us to just hire another coach who didn’t make me worry about the attendant vibes. But we’ll see. Best of luck to both gentlemen in their meeting with MJ.
Rasheed Wallace flirting with a spot on Ham’s staff
Sources: Four-time NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace has agreed on a deal to be an assistant coach for the Lakers under new head coach Darvin Ham. Both were teammates in Detroit and part of the 2004 title team. Memphis‘ Penny Hardaway hinted today Wallace may join Ham in LA.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 6, 2022
For further context: Wallace was recently identified as a candidate for Ham’s staff. The two sides have not yet reached a formal contract stage. https://t.co/IPlsixreVL— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 6, 2022
This is more of a Philadelphia-adjacent story than anything to do with the Sixers, but Rasheed Wallace is a beloved native Philadelphian, graduate of Simon Gratz High School, and Flyers and Phillies fan. When I saw the beginning of this Shams tweet I got excited that maybe ‘Sheed was coming home, but then I remembered that Doc probably doesn’t get great service on the links so, off to LA he goes. Love that he’s back in the league, though.