Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Sixers assistants are out

In his first big move as 76ers coach, Brett Brown has decided not to retain the team's assistant coaches.

Sixers assistants are out

Sixers coaching option Michael Curry. (Tony Dejak/AP)
Sixers coaching option Michael Curry. (Tony Dejak/AP)

In his first big move as 76ers coach, Brett Brown has decided not to retain the team's assistant coaches.

He informed Michael Curry, Aaron McKie and Jeff Capel Thursday night they would not be a part of his staff moving forward. All three were holdovers from Doug Collins' staff, and are under contract for one more year.
It is unclear if they'll remain with the Sixers in another capacity.

Curry was a candidate for the Sixers coaching job after Collins resigned on April 18.

"I'm doing that for obvious reasons," said Brown, who was hired Monday and introduced Wednesday.

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"I want to hire my own staff and have a clean start going in that direction. ... I feel like it's important that I come in with my own staff and start fresh and try to rebuild."

The former San Antonio Spurs assistant wouldn't disclose his assistant coaching candidates. However, he wants those positions filled by early September.

Brown said he made difficult phone calls to the former coaches. In Curry, McKie and Capel, he saw quality people with a tremendous history in this city, who worked hard up until the end.

"Michael did a great job with the summer-league team," Brown said. "Aaron did a great job with workouts, coaching here in the gym. Coach Capel has had a history here, albeit fairly brief. But he still became a part of the program.

"And these are always difficult decisions, and one that I feel like I have to make at this particular time."

Brown's decision to release the coaching staff doesn't come as a surprise. New coaches usually bring in their own staff.

Mike Malone, who was hired by the Sacramento Kings in June, didn't retain Kings assistants Jim Eyen, Alex English, Bobby Jackson and Clifford Ray. Jackson, who is a former Sacramento player, remained with the team in another capacity.

The former Sixers assistants could not be immediately reached for comment.

Curry was the associate head coach and came to Philadelphia with Collins three years ago. He is widely respected in the league and has NBA head coaching experience. The Alabama native led the Detroit Pistons to a 39-43 record and a first-round playoff exit in 2008-09. He was fired after his only season as a head coach.

The defensive-minded coach was responsible for the Sixers’ solid defense during his first two seasons here.

McKie, a North Philadelphia native, was a former Temple and Sixers standout as a player. He had a brief stint as a volunteer coach on the Sixers staff in 2007. He later became a full-time assistant with the franchise in 2008 and served under four head coaches - Mo Cheeks, Tony DiLeo, Eddie Jordan and Collins.

Capel came to Philadelphia as an assistant coach on November, 2011. His previous NBA assistant coaching stop was with the Charlotte Bobcats.

"You don't make that call very lightly at all," Brown said of informing the assistants they were released. "It's a very difficult call. And I make it with appreciation and respect for what they have done.

"I just feel philosophically to start a new era and start a new rebuild that it's important that I establish my own staff. This does not disrepect anybody. It’s just a philosophical decision that I feel that I had to make."

Follow Inquirer Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers

About this blog

Keith Pompey is in his first season covering the Sixers for The Inquirer after covering the Temple men’s basketball team for the past three years and Temple football the past two seasons.

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.

Narducci also has a true passion for South Jersey scholastic sports, which he has covered for many years.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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