Saturday, February 13, 2016

76ers will interview Laimbeer, Majerle

The 76ers coaching search is now 23 days old and, to this point, there have been exactly two known interviews: Doug Collins and Avery Johnson.

76ers will interview Laimbeer, Majerle

Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Bill Laimbeer will interview with the Sixers. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Bill Laimbeer will interview with the Sixers. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

The 76ers coaching search is now 23 days old and, to this point, there have been exactly two known interviews: Doug Collins and Avery Johnson.

Of course, the list is expanding almost daily and the list now includes a scheduled interview with former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell set for Sunday, and interviews with Phoenix Suns assistant Dan Majerle and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams set for Monday.

A new addition to the search will also be former Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boy" Bill Laimbeer, who last season served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves and who previously won two WNBA titles as head coach of the Detroit Shock. According to a source, Sixers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski will be meeting with Laimbeer on Sunday, a few hours after his interview with Mitchell.

By the end of Monday, Stefanski will have interviewed six candidates: Collins, Johnson, Mitchell, Laimbeer, Williams, and Majerle.

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For fun (and using some knowledge), let's take a look at the likelihood each of these candidates becomes the next coach of the Sixers.

Collins (odds, 12-1): Although he was the first interview, the longer this search progresses (and most sources are saying nothing will happen for a while), the lower Collins' chances become. Given his background and current gig with TNT, he's probably not interested in being a part of a long, drawn-out search involving so many names and so many interviews.

Johnson (odds, 9-1): Johnson, former head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, is rumored to be more interested in the New Orleans Hornets vacancy. With his high winning percentage and connection to the city, it's much more likely he'll become the Hornets next coach, not the Sixers. Toss in the fact that during last season's search Johnson wanted to be hand selected and his odds of surviving this month-plus endeavor are slight.

Sam Mitchell (5-1): Mitchell is known as a task master, and a guy that will put the Sixers on lockdown. Something they need. His career record is 156-189, so he might draw some ire from fans who don't want a repeat of the Eddie Jordan selection, but it's difficult to compare the two since Mitchell has coached about 270 fewer games.

Bill Laimbeer (5-1): Laimbeer could be an interesting candidate. You know he's going to demand a lot from his players, given his track record both as a player and in the WNBA. He's had a tough time getting his foot in the NBA coaching door, but he's had success whenever he's been given a coaching opportunity. Laimbeer has the potential combination of being able to raise people's interest in the Sixers, while also being a candidate with a whole lot of upside.

Monty Williams (15-1): Williams, 38, has only been an assistant coach for a few years. Yes, he handled a lot of duties for Nate McMillan this season, but it's going to be difficult for Stefanski to hire a guy who doesn't have head coaching experience and doesn't have the name-brand effect of a Laimbeer or Majerle. Williams will become an NBA head coach, but he's a longshot for this gig.

Dan Majerle (12-1): Majerle, 44, is in a similar boat as Williams, except he could instantly raise the team's marketability. (Not a ton, but it's something, right?). As this process plays out, we'll likely learn more about Majerle's coaching style, but if Stefanski doesn't feel he can come in and regulate on his young roster, he'll instantly be out of the race.



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About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Staff Writer
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