Now that Brett Brown has been fired after seven years as the 76ers head coach, there won’t be any shortage of candidates who look at this as an attractive job.
There is still two-time All-Star Ben Simmons and three-time All-Star Joel Embiid to build around (assuming the Sixers don’t trade one of them).
So here is a look at just some of the candidates in alphabetical order.
Mark Jackson, ESPN/ABC analyst. Jackson, 55, spent 17 seasons as a heady NBA point guard. He spent three seasons as the Golden State Warriors head coach, leading them to playoff berths his final two years. Jackson was fired following the 2013-2014 season after going 51-31 and losing in the first round of the playoffs. After he departed, the Warriors made five consecutive trips to the NBA finals, winning three times. Jackson reportedly had squabbles with his assistant coaches in Golden State. Since his firing, his name has been mentioned with many jobs, but he still remains in broadcasting.
Jason Kidd, Los Angeles Lakers assistant. A Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame point guard, Kidd, 47, has already had two head coaching stints. After going 44-38 and making the playoffs in 2013-2014 with the Brooklyn Nets, he went to the Milwaukee Bucks the next year. Kidd made the playoffs in two of his three full seasons with Milwaukee. He was fired after a 23-22 record in 2017-18. During his two head coaching stints, Kidd has had well-documented differences with the front offices. While there were many who questioned whether he could work with head coach and former Wildwood point guard Frank Vogel with the Lakers, things have apparently gone well this season.
Tyronn Lue, LA Clippers assistant. Lue, 43, has an appealing background. He is a former NBA player (how can anybody forget Allen Iverson stepping over Lue in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals)? He also was a head coach and earned an NBA championship with Cleveland. As the Cavs coach, he showed he can coach a superstar in LeBron James. Before this season he turned down a three-year offer to be the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, according to Yahoo.com. The Sixers will likely have competition for him. The Brooklyn Nets are looking to coach a team that it feels can challenge next season with a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (who Lue coached in Cleveland).
Ime Udoka, Sixers assistant. Udoka, 43, has that San Antonio Spurs heritage as a player and assistant coach, which always helps. He played for five different NBA teams, including the Spurs, and was a Spurs assistant for seven seasons before coming to Philadelphia. This was his first year with the Sixers and he was their defensive coordinator. The defense allowed 112.3 points per game in the four-game sweep to Boston, which ranked middle of the pack. During the regular season, the Sixers were the sixth best in the NBA in opponents points per game (108.4 ppg.). Earlier this season while in Philadelphia, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that Udoka was ready to be an NBA head coach. The Sixers had hired Brown from the Spurs coaching tree. Would they want to do that again?
Jay Wright, Villanova head coach. Wright, 58, is well known in the area, a big winner, including two NCAA championships. He is also known as being great with the media (although Brown was also). Wright is 594-267 in 26 years, which includes seven at Hofstra and the past 19 at Villanova. He led Hofstra to the NCAA tournament in each of his final two seasons and has guided Villanova to the tourney 14 times, including three Final Fours. He has shown great defensive concepts at Villanova and has structured the offenses based on his talent. He probably would win the popular vote except from Villanova fans, who would hate to see him go.