Jay Larranaga, who was at one point thought to be auditioning to replace Doc Rivers before the surprising Brad Stevens hire, is now reportedly a finalist for the Philadelphia 76′ers head coaching job.
Several head-coaching candidates will meet with Philadelphia 76ers ownership in New York this week in a second round of interviews, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Four assistant coaches – Atlanta’s Kenny Atkinson, San Antonio’s Brett Brown, Chicago’s Adrian Griffin and Boston’s Jay Larranaga – are scheduled to meet with, Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, among other team officials, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
I thought Larranaga did a great job with the Summer C’s. One thing that stood out with the Summer League team was a level of preparedness that didn’t seem present many of the other teams. Larranaga was able to call out plays from the sideline and have them properly executed, no easy task for a rag-tag group that includes rookies and fringe-NBA mercenaries looking to everything they can to make themselves look appealing to the assembled scouts.
I also saw the team walking around together, as a large group, at times that I saw various groups of two or three guys wandering around downtown Orlando. That’s another tiny little sign that Larranaga was able to get these guys on the same page.
Philly is a mess, and widely considered to be among the worst, if not THE worst, teams in the NBA this upcoming season. As much as you need someone who knows the game, you need a motivator and teacher. Plus, Larranaga comes from a successful program and has learned under Doc Rivers. He’s not the only candidate with those qualifications (pulling someone in from the Gregg Popovich staff has to be very appealing), but he’s a very good candidate.
It wouldn’t be ideal for Brad Stevens to lose such a valuable assistant before he even gets a chance to run a practice, but he’ll adjust. I like the idea of more new blood in the head coaching ranks, so I’m pulling for Larranaga that coach that everyone believes he deserves.