Eddie Jordan took the Washington Wizards to the NBA playoffs four times. It remains to be seen whether he will get a similar opportunity with the 76ers.
Dwane Casey got an opportunity to coach the Minnesota Timberwolves for a season-and-a-half. It remains to be seen whether he will get another chance with the Sixers.
But here's what we do know, according to various sources familiar with the Sixers' search for a new coach:
Jordan and Casey went through second interviews with Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski within the last few days. Neither the site nor duration of the sessions is known.
Jordan is owed $4 million for the 2009-10 season by the Wizards, while Casey has 2 years remaining on his contract. Comcast SportsNet reported that Casey was in the Philadelphia area during Memorial Day weekend, and that this meeting included Peter Luukko, president/chief operating officer of Comcast-Spectacor, the Sixers' parent company.
A source indicated that Stefanski is also hopeful of speaking with former Chicago, Detroit and Washington coach Doug Collins, who is working the Eastern Conference final as an analyst for TNT; that speculation has been out there for weeks. Collins spent his entire playing career with the Sixers.
There is reason to believe that the Sixers no longer have an interest in Boston associate head coach Tom Thibodeau, but that current Sixers pro personnel scout Chris Ford remains a candidate. Thibodeau has not responded to multiple messages left by the Daily News. Ford has confirmed he was interviewed.
Last night, former Dallas coach Avery Johnson released a statement via the ESPN public relations department, saying, "The Sixers officially contacted me regarding their head coaching position, but I have decided to stay in my role with ESPN."
The Daily News reported Tuesday that Johnson, who has 2 years remaining on his contract with the Mavericks, was not interested in being part of a coaching search. He is working as a studio analyst for ESPN.
There is also reason to believe the Sixers want to speak with former New York and Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy, although there had been no contact as of yesterday afternoon. Van Gundy is working as an ESPN game analyst during the Eastern final, in which Orlando leads Cleveland, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series.
The Sixers informed Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis earlier this week that they were moving in a different direction. Jordan, Thibodeau and Rambis remain in contention for the vacant Sacramento Kings job, along with former Phoenix, Seattle and Pepperdine coach Paul Westphal.
Stefanski, attending the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, has not commented publicly on the matter.
Former Villanova star Randy Foye recently spoke of Casey, one of his coaches with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"He's good with young guys, worked with us in our summer program," Foye said. "His work ethic is unbelievable. He understands that, as young players, we go up and down, and he works with you on that.
"He's not a screamer, and he's not quiet, but he will get his points across. He emphasizes taking no possessions off, and that, on a young team, you sometimes need to be pushed. He'll definitely get into you; he got into me a couple times, but if you go back and do it the right way, he's the first to congratulate and praise you." *
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