Sixers elevate O'Brien to role of assistant coach

Sam Amico

The Philadelphia 76ers have elevated former head coach Jim O'Brien to the role of "special advisor" to assistant, coach Brett Brown told reporters.

O'Brien has been the coach of the Sixers, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers and is expected to serve as Philly's defensive strategist.

He replaces Billy Lange, who left to become head coach at St. Joe's.

"To have Jim O'Brien still with me in a conciliatory type role, has been with me all season, to be able to take a former NBA head coach and a man of his experience that knows me and the system and the players and [put him back on the front of the bench], assuming that leadership area of our defense, it all fits," Brown told reporters Thursday.

O'Brien compiled a 303-327 head-coaching record in just more than eight seasons from 2001-11.