KISSIMMEE, Fla. — What’s up, peeps? I can’t believe that we’re already approaching the final weekend in August.
Usually, I’m spending this time with the family relaxing before turning my attention to the coming NBA season. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m completing one Sixers season and covering a coaching search and front-office reshuffling.
Somewhere, I can hear Sixers fans praying for more accountability and less reliance on analytics.
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— Keith Pompey (email@example.com)
Brand to hear from All-Star duo
The Sixers will confer with All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid about what the team needs moving forward.
By now, most NBA fans know the organization fired coach Brett Brown on Monday, one day after the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue is the leading candidate to replace him. However, the Sixers have some competition, as Lue also is a coaching candidate for the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans.
“I’m going to talk with Jo and Ben about the game and how they see it and what’s going to help them and how to complement them,” Sixers general manager Elton Brand said Tuesday. “I’m not going to put the pressure of ‘You wanted this new coach’ or ‘You wanted that player’ on them, just have some clear, candid conversations with them, absolutely, as I think I should.”
Reconstructing the roster might not be that easy. The Sixers’ 2020-21 payroll is roughly $147 million, the second highest in the NBA.
“We’ll be prepared,” Brand said. “I have four second-round [draft] picks and first-round. [It] gives me a lot of optionality to make things work.”
Elton Brand has consolidated his power, and now the Sixers are his mess to own. The Sixers general manager spoke like a man with newfound authority while telling reporters that significant changes are coming to the front office.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand calls ‘The Process’ a failure. This disappointing season led to Brett Brown, the only coach of The Process in its seven seasons, being fired on Monday.
Brand: ‘I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel'. “I’m looking to complement them better,” Brand said. “They’re 24 and 26 years old, respectively. You try to make that fit.”
Mike Brown could be in the mix for Sixers’ vacant head-coaching job. Brown has compiled a record of 347-216 in eight seasons as a head coach.
ESPN analyst Bruce Bowen points the finger at Joel Embiid for Brett Brown’s firing. Bowen suggested that the players, and specifically Embiid, had to be held accountable for this disappointing season.
Doc Rivers’ powerful statement
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers showed some raw emotion after Tuesday night’s 154-111, Game 5 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. It had nothing to do with that game, which gave his squad a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
It was over the shooting of Jacob Blake and racism. Blake, a Black male, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday.
“All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers, who is Black, said of the Republican National Convention.
“We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear.”
He talked about what it’s like to be a Black male and constantly being reminded of his color because of shootings such as Blake’s.
“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” Rivers said. “It’s really so sad. Like I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color.”
He spoke of being sad, how people must do better and demand better.
“It’s funny. We protest. They send riot guards,” Rivers said. “They send people in riot outfits. They go to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens.”
Passing the rock
Question: Who do you think is the best choice to be the coach? — @SwaggyMitch on Twitter
Answer: What’s up, man? Right now, I will have to say Lue. He would bring an NBA-championship resume.
Lue won consecutive NBA titles as a reserve guard for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000 and 2001. His second title came against the Sixers. As a head coach, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their only NBA title, in 2016. He’s also someone Embiid and Simmons would both respect.