Sixers interview Avery Johnson
The 76ers conducted a second formal interview for their coaching vacancy Monday, meeting with Avery Johnson in Houston. Johnson's interview came two days after the team's president and general manager, Ed Stefanski, met with Doug Collins in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The 76ers conducted a second formal interview for their coaching vacancy Monday, meeting with Avery Johnson in Houston.
Johnson's interview came two days after the team's president and general manager, Ed Stefanski, met with Doug Collins in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Joining Stefanski for the interview were assistant general manager Tony DiLeo and team consultant Gene Shue.
Shue, 78, coached the Sixers from 1973 to '77 and was twice named NBA coach of the year. He works for the Sixers as a scout.
"He's been with the club for a number of years, and in this process you have a former coach who can look at it from a coaching perspective, ask questions from a coach's perspective," explained Peter Luukko, chief operating officer of Comcast-Spectacor, the Sixers' parent company.
Luukko said that having several people involved in the coaching search should not be seen as a reflection on the job status of Stefanski, who is looking for his second coach in as many years.
Comcast-Spectacor has still not given a public vote of confidence in Stefanski, who fired coach Eddie Jordan on April 15, less than a year after hiring him.
"Right now, he's our GM," Luukko said. "The NBA season isn't even over yet. As we all know, we need a coach, and he's preparing for the draft. Those are his duties, and that's what he's fulfilling."
Johnson, 45, is working as a studio analyst for ABC/ESPN. He coached the Dallas Mavericks from 2004 to '08 and had a 194-70 record.
"His reputation as a motivator and accomplishments as a head coach in the NBA are well-known," Stefanski said in a news release.
Collins, 58, last coached in 2003 with the Washington Wizards. Before that, he coached the Chicago Bulls (1986-89) and Detroit Pistons (1995-98). Collins, now working for TNT, has a lifetime NBA coaching record of 332-287.
Next in line for an interview is Mark Jackson, according to a source close to the situation, as well as former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell. Jackson, 45, played in the NBA from 1987 to 2004 and now works alongside former coach Jeff Van Gundy as a commentator for ABC/ESPN. Jackson has never been an NBA coach, but he was rumored to be a candidate for the New York Knicks' vacancy in 2008.
Mitchell, the NBA coach of the year in 2007, coached the Raptors from 2004 to '09.
Also being discussed internally is former New Orleans Hornets coach Byron Scott.
According to a source close to the coaching search, the Sixers will most likely wait to make a hire, especially until they have interviewed NBA assistants still involved with the playoffs. Among the names under consideration are Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, and San Antonio Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer.
Casey, whose Mavericks were eliminated last week, is the only potential candidate no longer involved in the playoffs.
The Hornets, who also have a coaching vacancy, recently requested permission from the Mavericks to speak with Casey. An NBA source confirmed that the Sixers have yet to make that phone call.