76ers' Joel Embiid Reportedly Approves of Mike D'Antoni Interest
Soon enough, the Philadelphia 76ers will have to find a new head coach to lead the team through the 2020-2021 season and beyond. For the last seven seasons, it was Brett Brown's job. After failing to pick up a single win in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers were left with no choice but to move on from Brown.
The Sixers have been on a search for the next head coach for the last month. At first, the team had its eyes on Dave Joerger, Jay Wright, Ime Udoka, Mike Brown, and Ty Lue. Lately, just one of those candidates have remained relevant in the search as two more notable names in Billy Donovan, and Mike D'Antoni became available.
Earlier in the week, Donovan, D'Antoni, and Lue were considered to be the top candidates, but Donovan came off the market as he landed an agreement to become the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls. At this point, the Sixers' coaching search seems to be down to D'Antoni and Lue. It's been reported that lately, though, rumblings of D'Antoni joining the Sixers are becoming "louder."
Considering D'Antoni's system had quite a different style of play with the Houston Rockets, many question the fit for Philly since they want to build around both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. While one might believe Embiid wouldn't be too thrilled with D'Antoni's style, a recent report indicates the Sixers' big man gave the organization his blessing to pursue D'Antoni this offseason.
"Word is leaking out that Brand is pushing hard for the Sixers to hire D'Antoni," reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Joel Embiid gave his blessing. In addition, there are reports that the Sixers will make trades if D'Antoni is hired. The expectation is that he'll have a say in picking players for his freewheeling style of play."
Following the firing of Brett Brown, Sixers General Manager Elton Brand made it clear that he will consult with his two stars, Embiid and Simmons, to find a coach that will help maximize their talents. Getting a thumbs up from Joel Embiid could be a promising sign for D'Antoni, who has reportedly had his eyes on Philly since before his days as the Rockets' head coach even wrapped up.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_