Report: Sixers Ownership Wants To Hire Former Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni

The Philadelphia 76ers’ head coaching position, arguably the top job available in the NBA, is expected to entice all the top candidates in the league, but according to a new report from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike D’Antoni may be in pole position.

From Pompey: “… the job could be D’Antoni’s to lose. The source said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job, and said D’Antoni is the candidate they want.”

D’Antoni is expected to fly to Philadelphia to interview in the coming days and has, according to Pompey, backed away from mutual interest with the Indiana Pacers in order to more aggressively pursue the Sixers’ job. The former Rockets coach, who opted not to pursue an extension team following its departure from the 2020 postseason, spent time in Philadelphia in 2015 when he was making his way back to coaching after failed stints in Los Angeles in New York, giving him familiarity with general manager Elton Brand — then on the Sixers’ roster as a player — and the rest of the organization.

However, candidates such as Ty Lue and Billy Donovan are also expected to get a look from Philadelphia’s brain trust. And it’s not a logical fit stylistically, as the Sixers are centered around two interior non-shooters in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons while D’Antoni is coming off many years with a unique and regimented threes-and-layups system in Houston that runs counter to how the Sixers have played through this core.