Count Kurt Rambis out of the running for the vacant 76ers' coaching job.
A source in Los Angeles tonight confirmed that the Sixers have informed the longtime Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach that they are going in another direction in their search. Rambis was in the first wave of prospective candidates to meet with Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski, that session taking place last week in Santa Monica, Ca.
Rambis, though, remains in the running for the Sacramento job, but the same source indicated that he would not meet with the Kings until after the NBA's Western Conference finals series against the Denver Nuggets that continues tonight in Los Angeles. The Kings have also let it be known that they intend to meet with Boston Celtics' associate head coach Tom Thibodeau--anogther Sixers interviewee--later this week.
Two other sources indicated that the Sixers have been in touch with a representative for Avery Johnson, the former Dallas Mavericks coach currently working as a studio analyst for ESPN. One source said ''the timing isn't right'' for Johnson; the other source suggested that Johnson didn't seem interested in being part of a wide-ranging search. Johnson had been working with agent Tyler Glass, but is now being advised by a consultant.
There has also been speculation in recent days that the Sixers either have, or are about to, reach out to Jeff Van Gundy, the former New York and Houston coach who has been working as an ESPN game analyst during the Eastern Conference series between Orlando and Cleveland. Van Gundy did not respond to messages left by the Daily News.
The Sixers have also confirmed interviews with former Washington and Sacramento coach Eddie Jordan (on the list again with the Kings), Dallas assistant Dwane Casey, current Sixers pro personnel scout Chris Ford and Villanova coach Jay Wright.
Wright, who took the Wildcats to the NCAA Final Four, quickly withdrew from consideration.