Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to interview candidates for their head coach opening, but the position is reportedly Mike D’Antoni’s to lose, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tyronn Lue is also expected to interview, but Pompey reported D’Antoni “would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job.”
The former Houston Rockets coach already has support from general manager Elton Brand, while star center Joel Embiid also “gave his blessing.”
D’Antoni had spent the past four years in Houston, but his contract was up this offseason and he told the organization he would not return.
The 69-year-old led Houston to the second round of the playoffs in four straight years but was unable to bring home a title, only once advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
D’Antoni has been a head coach for five different organizations across 16 seasons, twice winning Coach of the Year, but has never reached an NBA Finals.
He is best known for his offensive approach to the game, featuring a spread attack that relies heavily on the outside shot. The Rockets led the league in three-pointers made and attempted in each of the last four years, usually ranking near the top of the NBA in offensive rating.
James Harden has especially benefitted while winning the scoring title in each of the last three years.
Embiid reportedly would welcome this style, which would allow him to face the basket more often instead of posting up.
John Clark of NBC Sports also reported D’Antoni could be able to lure Harden to Philadelphia, either as a free agent in two years or as part of a trade.
The 76ers already have two All-Stars in Embiid and Ben Simmons, while Tobias Harris and Al Horford are proven contributors in the rotation. The challenge has been getting more out of the team after failing to advance beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals. The team was swept by the Boston Celtics in Round 1 this season with Simmons unavailable.
The organization seemingly feels D’Antoni is the person who can turn things around for the talented roster.
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