A familiar name has been linked with the Sixers’ head coaching job.
Mike D’Antoni will become a free agent and “be considered among a group of candidates” for the Sixers’ opening, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Rockets’ season ended Saturday night with a loss to the Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, and D’Antoni’s contract expired after this year.
The Sixers won’t be the only team with interest in the 69-year-old D’Antoni. He’s a “leading candidate” for the Pacers job, per Wojnarowski. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, D’Antoni has also been connected with the Pelicans’ vacancy.
D’Antoni joined the 10-win 2015-16 Sixers as an associate head coach on Brett Brown’s staff. Elton Brand, now the team’s general manager, was in his final season as a player. D'Antoni then was hired by Houston, where he had a 217-101 regular-season record. James Harden led the league in scoring the past three seasons in D’Antoni’s isolation-centric offense.
His “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns won 50-plus games every season between 2004-05 and ’07-’08 using a fast, free-flowing offense. D’Antoni had unsuccessful stints with the Knicks and Lakers before his brief period with the Process Era Sixers.
The Rockets and Sixers were polar opposites stylistically this season, with Houston using no conventional center after trading away Clint Capela in February. Meanwhile, the Sixers had a supersized roster and posted up more than any other team.