AS THE SIXERS' spokesman, its face, Andre Iguodala figures he should have input.
As the team's general manager, Ed Stefanski better get ready to listen.
"We could have been a 50-win team," Iguodala said last night after the Sixers lost Game 6, 114-89, and their Eastern Conference quarterfinal to the Magic, their second six-game, first-round playoff loss in as many seasons.
"Moves. It's going to be a busy summer," Iguodala said. "I'm going to sit down with Ed and discuss what I think will get us over the [hump]."
As for coach Tony DiLeo, the team's assistant GM who replaced Maurice Cheeks in December and led the club to the playoffs, well, Iguodala didn't exactly endorse his soft-spoken boss.
"We'll see about that," he said, when asked whether DiLeo should return. "We'll talk. We'll try to get the best-case scenario."
Stefanski did not immediately respond to an interview request last night.
But that's OK. Those issues concern next season.
This year's edition underachieved, Iguodala contended.
Why weren't they a 50-win team? Why did they win only 41 games? Why did they lose seven of their final eight? Why did they implode last night to a Magic team without both All-Star center Dwight Howard and ascending shooting guard Courtney Lee?
Iguodala didn't mention the Sixers' loss of Elton Brand to a shoulder injury in midseason.
What he mentioned was overeager, inexperienced players who were allowed to err again and again: "We weren't always there."
"We had mental lapses."
"We had inner turmoil."
"We have a young team. At times, I think we have a tough time understanding the importance of communication as a whole," Iguodala said.
When mistakes were made by the younger players, he said, "Instead of trying to make it up for the team, they'd try to make it up for themselves."
The main "younger players," of course, were second-year forward Thaddeus Young, rookie forward Marreese Speights and, perhaps, backup guard Lou Williams.
Iguodala declined to name names, but the candidates were obvious.
Perhaps in his meeting with the boss, Iguodala will be more specific.
DiLeo has consistently declined to lobby to remain as the Sixers coach. Last night, he remained consistent.
"I always said I would take some time after the season," DiLeo said. "I'll sit with Ed. He'll get it from my side. I'll get it from his side.
"I just need some space."
Maybe he could take a short vacation with Iguodala . . . that is, if he wants the job.
No loitering in the lane
Chatty Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy had the final word, as is often the case, on the matter of whether Magic players - specifically, center Dwight Howard - had lingered in the lane beyond the allowable 3 seconds in the first five games of the series against the Sixers. His Philadelphia counterpart, Tony DiLeo, had claimed after Game 5 that Howard had "camped out" in the lane without being called for 3-second violations.
"We looked at that whole [Game 5] film," Van Gundy said before last night's game. "If Tony wants to come out and enumerate the instances [Howard] was in the lane, there were no 3-second calls uncalled. He wasn't in the lane; it wasn't a problem. But I understand how the game is played." *
Daily News sports writer Bernard Fernandez contributed to this report.