The sidelines for the Philadelphia 76ers will look very different heading into the 2023-24 season. The headline news was obviously Doc Rivers and the team parting ways, with former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse brought in as his replacement. Then, with any head coach change, there’s bound to be some new faces coming and going in the assistant ranks, and that’s what we’re already seeing.
First, Sam Cassell went turncoat and joined the Boston Celtics’ staff under Joe Mazzulla. Now, per Yahoo! Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer, Dan Burke is reportedly also heading out the door. The following line came while Fischer was describing the current situation in Phoenix:
“Several assistant coaches, such as Mark Bryant, are expected to follow Monty Williams to Detroit, where former Houston head coach Stephen Silas will serve as the Pistons’ associate head coach, and former 76ers assistant Dan Burke, sources said, is also expected to join the front of Williams’ bench.”
Both Burke and new Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams are former Sixers assistants, although their time did not overlap. Williams was on Brett Brown’s staff for the 2018-19 season, whereas the 2020-21 season was Burke’s first in Philadelphia after a long tenure with the Pacers.
Burke is well-known around the league for his acumen in teaching defensive principles and was known as the team’s ‘defensive coordinator’ while in Philadelphia. While it’s hard to differentiate personnel and scheme when determining a team’s success, the Sixers did rank second, twelfth, and eighth in the league in regular season defensive rating during Burke’s three seasons. Burke also went 2-0 as head coach, filling in for Rivers when Doc was out a pair of games due to health and safety protocols at the end of 2021, beginning of 2022.
The Pistons finished 27th in defensive rating last season, so Burke will have his hands full with that young squad. We’ll await word on the official announcement of his departure, as well as any news as to who Nick Nurse might be bringing on board for his new staff.