Many reports have came out this week saying that Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers are down to their final two head coaching candidates in which they will make a decision from. The two candidates are Michael Curry and Brett Brown. ESPN’s Mark Stein tweeted on Wednesday morning that the coaching candidate search is down to those two.
Now you might be saying to yourself, who actually has the lead in being the Sixers new head coach. Some people believe that Curry should be the Sixers new head coach because he was a head coach before and know this team as currently constructed. This month, Curry coached the Sixers summer league team down in Orlando. With that being said, he has to be the front runner right? Nope not so fast, other people feel as if Brown needs to be the head coach because it will officially be a clean slate from the old regime.
Let’s take a look at both coaching candidates’ resumes and experiences, starting first with Michael Curry. When Doug Collins came to the Sixers in 2010, Michael Curry was hired to be on his staff along with former player Aaron McKie, who many still think to this day should be considered as a coaching candidate. When Curry was on Doug Collins’ staff, he looked and carried himself more like a coach than Collins. Curry is a defensive hard nosed coach, which is the style he used to play as a former player.
But the only other head coaching experience that Curry has had is with the Detroit Pistons back in the 2008-09 season. During that time he was given a three year deal as Flip Saunders was on his way out the door. In Curry’s first season as a head coach with the Pistons, he got them to the playoffs with a 39-43 record but it wasn’t good enough as they would get eliminated in the first round and he lost his job in the process.
Shockingly enough, that Pistons team had Arron Affalo, Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Jason Maxiell, Antonio McDyess, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, and Rasheed Wallace on it. But as I mentioned before they could only get 39 wins that season and lost in the first round to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. That year James and Cavaliers would sweep the Pistons in dominating fashion averaging 15.5 points per margin in defeats. So what does this tell you? Can Curry coach this team because in Detroit he had future hall of famers and failed.
That leads me to Brett Brown, the unknown coaching candidate to many Sixers fans. When everybody points to Brown for being the head coach, one thing sticks out and that is he has been apart of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich staff. In fact, Brown has spent the past seven seasons under Popovich, which can only mean good things since he is learning from one the best coaches in NBA history.
Brown also does have prior head coaching experience as he led the Australian national team to the 2012 London Olympic Games. On the Australian national team, Brown coached players such as Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes, and David Andersen. All of these players are playing in the NBA, Mills and Baynes are also apart of the San Antonio Spurs organization. Finally, in the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Australian national team would lose in the quarterfinals to the USA 119-86 and finish seventh in the final standings.
Who should be the Philadelphia 76ers new head coach? Brown or Curry, it will be interesting to see who Sam Hinkie picks to lead this franchise. But whoever Hinkie picks, they will have the tough task of bringing this franchise back to NBA prominence.