In the end, P.J. Carlesimo's family came first.
That's why he decided not to replace Mike D'Antoni as associate head coach of the 76ers. Carlesimo intends to remain doing TV and radio work with ESPN. He was a strong candidate to replace D'Antoni, who was named the head coach of the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
"As we talked, he felt like he couldn't make the move and I respect it, knowing him like I know him," Sixers coach Brett Brown said a phone conversation he had with Carlesimo on Sunday night. "It didn't surprise me. He's got two young boys, one's in high school. They are on the West Coast.
"Maybe if I was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, the distance would have been palatable."
Brown said the Sixers "are still in a complete development mode." He wants to make sure the city remembers that. As a result, he's looking for coaches who can teach and establish relationships.
In addition to D'Antoni, the Sixers must replace video coordinator/assistant coach Will Weaver and player-development assistant/assistant coach Sean Rooks. The team is not expected to renew Rooks' contract, according to a source. Weaver will leave his posts as his wife pursues a fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center. Weaver is a candidate to join the Brooklyn Nets staff.
Carlesimo, 67, and Brown have been friends for the last 35 years. At Boston University, Brown played against a Wagner team coached by Carlesimo. And the two spent six years together as assistant coaches on the Spurs staff.
"My father and P.J. have known each other for several years, coached against each other," Brown said. "So he's somebody for me that when Mike left, it was a no-brainer that I could reach out to a friend that is credentialed as he is. … And so when he weighted everything up with his family situation, he just felt like he couldn't do it and I get it."
Carlesimo had head coaching stints with the Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, and Brooklyn Nets.
Former Boise State power forward James Webb III and former Louisiana State point guard Tim Quarterman stood out during three-on-three drills during a pre-draft workout for the Sixers on Monday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Quarterman did a good job distributing the ball to Webb, who routinely made three-pointers and finished with dunks and layups during the scrimmage that was visible to the media. However, the two and power forward Joel Bolomboy (Weber State) are expected to be selected in the second round of the June 23 draft.
The Sixers have the first, 24th and 26th picks in the draft. They do not have any second-round selections.
"In this particular group, maybe it's something we figure out on draft picks we don't have that we might have," Brown said. "Maybe it ends up a D-League thing. Maybe it ends up a summer-league thing."
Guard Brannen Greene (Kansas), shooting guard Daniel House (Texas A&M) and point guard Isaiah Taylor (Texas) also participated in the workout.
What about Simmons?
One of the biggest questions after the workout was about a player who wasn't in attendance. Quarterman was asked about his former LSU teammate Ben Simmons, whom many believe the Sixers will draft first overall.
Reporters wanted to know about Simmons' character and if he quit on LSU once it was obvious that the team would struggle. Simmons received criticism for a perceived lack of effort late in the season.
"Ben is great person, great player and he's a great competitor," Quarterman said. "So I don't think throughout the season he ever quit on us. I think us losing frustrated a lot of us as competitors because we always wanted to win."
Off the court, Quarterman described Simmons as a "great person" and "my little brother." He added that Simmons' passing made his teammates better.