Former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni could be a candidate for the 76ers’ coaching vacancy, league sources tell Hoops Wire.
The opening was created when the Sixers fired coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday after three seasons.
D’Antoni, 72, coached the Rockets when current Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was GM with Houston, and when current Sixers star guard James Harden played there. Both Morey and Harden are said to be fans of D’Antoni.
Others have mentioned D’Antoni as a possible candidate with the Sixers as well.
“Quietly, there has been a belief for a while that Mike D’Antoni would be a coaching candidate for Philly if Rivers is relieved of his coaching duties while Harden was a Sixer,” wrote Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “In Houston, D’Antoni built an offense around Harden that helped him become a three-time scoring champion in three straight seasons under Morey in Houston.”
Harden is expected to opt out of his contract and enter free agency this summer, in search of a longer deal. While he has been linked to a return to the Rockets, the Sixers are believed to be the frontrunners.
Along with D’Antoni, former Raptors coach Nick Nurse and former Lakers coach Frank Vogel are also believed to be on the Sixers’ radar, among many others.
Along with the Rockets, D’Antoni has served as head coach of the Nuggets, Knicks, Lakers and “24 Seconds or Less” Suns of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire fame. He spent the 2021-22 season as a coaching advisor to Willie Green and the Pelicans.
Overall, D’Antoni has compiled a 672-527 record in the regular season. He was a finalist for the Hornets’ coaching vacancy last summer, a job that eventually went to Steve Clifford.
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