The Philadelphia 76ers‘ head coaching search is heating up, as former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue have emerged as prime candidates for the post. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey, citing league sources, Lue is scheduled to interview for the job on Tuesday.
As relayed by The Inquisitr in August, there was reportedly a mutual interest between Doc Rivers’ top assistant on the Clippers bench and the 76ers shortly after the team elected to move on from former coach Brett Brown. Sports Illustrated‘s Sam Amick even suggested that the team could have the inside track on signing Lue, who has been considered a top candidate for multiple coaching jobs recently.
However, D’Antoni’s somewhat surprising decision not to re-up with the Rockets has altered the situation for both Lue and Philly.
In addition to bringing his strong track record and reputation for directing elite-level offensive attacks to the table, it has been purported that a D’Antoni hire could potentially help the Sixers lure 2018 NBA MVP James Harden from Houston.
On Thursday, NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s John Clark tweeted that the very possibility is factoring into his candidacy.
Per Pompey, the position is the former Rockets coach’s to lose, which could motivate Lue to re-evaluate his own candidacy and potentially withdraw from consideration. Nevertheless, Lue has a strong track record as well, and his upcoming interview would seem to indicate that he remains in the race.
Before he was an assistant on Rivers’ bench in Los Angeles, the 43-year-old Lue enjoyed an incredible three-year run in Cleveland as head coach of the Cavaliers. After previously serving as the team’s associate head coach, he eventually took over for David Blatt midway through the 2015-16 season and subsequently helped LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love lead their club to an NBA title.
Lue and the Cavs advanced to the NBA Finals during each of the two seasons that followed, but were stymied in their efforts to claim a second title by the Golden State Warriors on both occasions. Later, just six games into his fourth year at the helm with the Cavs, the franchise elected to fire Lue.
Over parts of four seasons directing the Cavs, he amassed a record of 128-83, for a winning percentage of 60.7.
In addition to his experience on the sidelines, Lue has an extensive background as a player, spending 11 seasons with seven different teams from 1998 to 2009. During that time, he appeared in more than 500 games, averaging 8.5 points and 3.1 assists per contest, per Basketball Reference.
He won two championships as a backup point guard with the L.A. Lakers in 2000 and 2001.