While the San Antonio Spurs battle the Miami Heat in a star-studded dramatic NBA Finals, our beloved and beleaguered 76ers await another marginal lottery draft pick. With the #11 overall choice it’s wide-open as to who they select or how the draft pieces fall. The question that needs to be answered is who will be the next head coach to lead the 76ers from below mediocrity to yearly playoff contender to, perhaps while I am above ground, a championship caliber team?
Thus far the only known interview was with Kelvin Sampson, former college coach at Oklahoma and menial NBA assistant who has familiarity with new GM Sam Hinkie from the Houston Rockets organization. Please please, contain your excitement over this possible scenario. The early summer headcoaching scramble has been a dysfunctional ferris-wheel of obscure hirings and strange manuevering.
Raise your hand if you had Jason Kidd retiring then taking the Nets job, and Vinny Del Negro fired after the Clippers have shown progression. Will Doc Rivers be shipped off from Boston to replace him in Lob City? George Karl got a contact-high and his walking papers from Denver. And what’s the deal with Lionel Hollins?
In my opinion, the lack of urgency displayed by Hinkie and 76ers CEO Adam Aron in finding a replacement for a burned-out Doug Collins is unacceptable, especially when there are a few candidates who would satisfy the position. Perennial hot-button assistant Brian Shaw is making himself unavailable, for now, but I doubt he wants this job anyway. Would Karl or Del Negro come to Philly for a rebuilding process? My top choice is there for the taking right now and it is common practice to have a new regime in place before the NBA draft at the end of June.
My candidate is fairly obvious, former Temple Owl and 76er guard, and current 76ers assistant Aaron McKie. As a fan I always appreciated his hustle and heady play, and the coaches he has been around his entire college/pro career are quite an impressive collective. I believe a cerebral basketball guy like McKie would sponge all those qualities from the likes of John Chaney, Larry Brown, Collins etc. If he can combine that knowledge with his paid-dues on the bench as an assistant and ignite it with his blue-collar work ethic he showed as a player, I believe you have a sensible choice to lead the franchise.
McKie is native son of Philly, and the fanbase would be more patient and supportive as he tries to weave a brand of winning basketball into the proud 76er franchise. He would be a great ambassador and conduit between the passionately skeptic fan-base, and the new front-office team responsible for assembling the talent to take the court come October.
The sand in the hour-glass is falling faster and I’m sure the 76ers brass are using dilligence, but why wait when our next coach could be right here right now? My vote is for Aaron McKie, somewhat sentimental but hey, the team could do worse right?. Eddie Jordan still lingers up the turnpike like a reminiscent smog of horrible, uninspired basketball from a few years ago.Tags: Aaron McKie, Adam Ron, Doug Collins, George Karl, Head coach, Kelvin Sampson, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Sam Hinkie, search, Vinny Del Negro