Mike D’Antoni is reportedly joining the Philadelphia 76ers as an associate head coach, working under head coach Brett Brown.
The move, broken by Keith Pompey of Philly.com, has been expected since the 76ers named Jerry Colangelo as the chairman of basketball operations. D’Antoni and Colangelo have worked together with the Phoenix Suns and USA Basketball.
76ers general manager Sam Hinkie is committed to a long-term “process” that involves playing poorly and accumulating high draft picks. They are now in the third season of the plan, but have dropped to 1-26 and on are pace to become the worst team in NBA history.
“We can’t sit here and sugarcoat it and say everybody’s happy with the record,” guard Isaiah Canaan said. “But we are happy within our team and with our players. We work hard every day.
“Even though our record doesn’t show it, we know what we are capable of doing and we are going to stay at it. The wall will eventually break sooner or later.”
Under pressure from the NBA, Colangelo was brought in to try to help the franchise regain some respectability, and he has now brought in D’Antoni to be a everyday presence on the coaching staff.
D’Antoni has a 455-426 career record coaching Denver, Phoenix, New York and the Lakers, and Brown said last week that he would welcome D’Antoni’s help.