After 7 long years, the Brett Brown era is close to being done in Philadelphia. We’ve been through a lot with the man. There were some lows, and I mean real low times. From the beginning of the process, to the 10-72 year season, the Kahwi bounces, all the way to this years disaster of a season. It’s a shame to see such a great guy like Brown get dragged across the mud like he is, but we’re ruthless as fans in this city and it’s time for a change.
All over social media there are names flying off the board to potentially replace Brown as the next head coach of the 76ers. Some names are intriguing, and some are completely nonsense. There are a few that I’m really interested in. Those names being Jason Kidd, Sam Cassell, Jay Wright, and Wes Unseld Jr. Some old and some new names in here but I’ll explain why these guys are good coaching candidates for the 76ers.
There’s no surprise here that Jason Kidd has shown up in this list of coaching candidates. Kidd was one of the best pure point guards of his generation. I like kidd to the 76ers for a couple reasons but the main one being he could mentor Ben Simmons like he did Giannis while he was the head coach of the Bucks. Another reason was while with the Bucks, Kidd brought a 26th ranked offensive rated team to the 25th in his first year, to 13th in his second year, then all the way down to 10th in the league. Kidd just has a natural knack of understanding the offensive game of basketball and I believe that would help tremendously for this team. If we’re being honest, dealing with Brett Brown’s offense for all these years was brutal and it’d be nice to have someone come in and give us a fresh look at an offensive system. Though his run with the Bucks got cut short, you can realistically say he started the Giannis era of the Bucks you’re seeing now. He holds guys accountable, from superstar to the last man on the bench. I found this clip while he was coaching with Milwaukee and it really caught my eye of how well these players responded to him and would love to see that here in Philly.
The 3 time finals champion is going to be a hot commodity this off season. A lot of teams have fired their head coaches and Cassell is going to be at the top of many of their list including the Sixers once they fire Brett.
Cassell’s career as a shot creator and facilitator is well documented. The 6’3 point guard went on to have 15,000 points and 6,000 assists in his 13 year career. The one thing he is known for is being a mid-range assassin. This could benefit some players on this Sixers team. Aka Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and not to knock Embiid’s jumper but it doesn’t hurt to get tips from one of the better mid-range shooters of the last 30 years. He started his coaching career under the great Flip Saunders in Washington. Saunders has some high praise for Cassell as well. “He’s been through it,” Saunders said of Cassell to The Washington Post. “Sam never played because he was fast or jumped very high. He played because of how smart he was. He knew angles and played to those. He’s able to help and transform that to some of the players.” This quote alone on Cassell gives me hope he could create offensive sets that benefit and open lanes for everyone on the team.
Cassell who has been under Doc Rivers for the past 6 years has also received high praise from his players in LA. Austin Rivers openly praised Cassell for his constant development and his improvement of his midrange. Chris Paul former Clipper has called Sam Cassell a great motivator, and praised his ability to refine his skills and help players with their game mentality. The overall developments of Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Landry Shamet, John Wall, and Bradley Beal have been said to of been his work with them. It is said he is a “backcourt whisperer.” How this helps the Sixers is that he could help develop Simmons game to the next level as well as Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle. I found this video on Sam Cassell giving his own insight of coaching in the NBA and there are some points in there that this team is missing BADLY.
.@LAClippers Assistant Coach Sam Cassell is passionate about passing on his experience to the next generation of players, whether they're professionals or just starting. Watch his #CoachesStories to learn about his basketball journey and what advice he has for aspiring coaches! pic.twitter.com/z5VxH8jBUv— NBA Coaches Assoc. (@NBA_Coaches) April 18, 2020
I wouldn’t mind seeing Cassell take the ranks as the next head coach of the 76ers.
This guy right here is the dream hire. Jay Wright is the coach the whole city wants. We know him, we’re familiar with his coaching, and he’s been successful with little to nothing at Villanova. That’s not saying he hasn’t had any type of talent, but coming to the Sixers with Embiid, Simmons, and Tobias who knows what kind of positive impact he’d make on this squad.
The one thing I really see in Wright is that he holds every player accountable regardless of your talents. That’s something this team has lacked for years. Josh Richardson said yesterday in his first year as a Sixer that the team lacked accountability. Another huge point in hiring Wright is his coaching philosophy. Wright praises an in your face and disciplined defense. No one stands still. Everyone is hustling their ass off the get the man on or off ball. Offensively ball movement is everything. Wrights offensive scheme roots from moving the ball until there’s an opening for a good shot. If you watched the Sixers this season, their ball movement was terrible. Too many turnovers, terrible passing, no one moving without the ball. Just simply a horrific scene of basketball.
I truly feel if Jay Wright came to Philly and had say in offseason moves and had control of what he wanted from this team, the guys would buy in and this team could take that next step. The big question with Jay Wright is he has coached young men his whole coaching career. Can he hold a lockeroom of GROWN men? I believe he can but the question is legitimate. I believe he would just need to adjust to the notion that you can’t coach these guys like kids. These are grown men with families and their own big egos. If he understands that than he could do wonders in the NBA. Here’s some videos of him coaching that’ll get you excited for a possible future.
Jay Wright on attitude and effort: pic.twitter.com/c5CfpaFVjg— The Coaches' Journal (@TheCoachJournal) January 23, 2020
Again this is the dream hire so I don’t want to get my hopes up with this hiring.
Wes Unseld Jr
Unseld Jr is going to be a hot commodity coaching name come 2020. There’s going to be a bidding war for the guy. That’s because he’s a huge part of why the Denver Nuggets are as successful as they are now. It is said as a coach Unseld Jr has a natural born work ethic unlikely many others. It is also said that Unseld Jr is phenomenal with developing young talent. That looks to be true when you see all the young talent the Nuggets have from Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, Michael Potter Jr who the Sixers should have if I might add. That young nucleus is deadly over there and to have someone who can come in and enhance the already talented Embiid, Harris, Simmons, etc would be lovely.
Another huge part about Unseld Jr’s coaching philosophy is defense. He turned a bottom feeder defender into a consecutive top 10 defense. The Sixers defensively have struggled since Lloyd Pierce left for Atlanta. Having a coach who is known to improve defenses is a huge plus here. Not many people know of Unseld jr so here are some clips to better
Now this video is from 4 years ago, but this was the video that helped me love this guy. From his work ethic philosophy, to the understanding of young players, to actually being a scout and having a knack for young talent and developing them. That is something this Sixers team need badly. When the Sixers do fire Brett Brown, Unseld Jr should be a prime candidate
These four names have all been linked with the Sixers and rightfully so. These guys are my top candidates to take this team to the next level. I just hope this team doesn’t hire another yes man and push this franchise back another 5-6 years.