The Philadelphia 76ers have not had a head coach since April 18, the day after they finished their 2012-13 season with a rare win and Doug Collins officially resigned. Since then, the Sixers have hired a new general manager, pulled off a stunning draft-day trade and gone all-in on tanking the upcoming season in hopes of landing the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA draft.
Yet 95 days since Collins stepped down with tears in his eyes, the Sixers still do not have a coach.
If that seems a little absurd, that’s because it is. Charles Barkley, who went to six All-Star games as a Sixer and has never been shy about saying what he thinks, did not mince words while offering his thoughts on the situation in Philly.
“I think it’s one of the silliest things I’ve seen in sports in a long time,” Barkley told CSNPhilly. “I’m in Philly during the summer, as you know, and I’m watching and reading every day. To not have a coach under contract by now, I think that’s a joke.
“I don’t know what they’re waiting on. You’re playing summer league games. People need to know who’s in charge. They got players who are playing in the summer league, they got assistant coaches coaching the team. You just can’t bring somebody in and him have instant credibility. He has to build rapport with the players.”
Michael Curry, who was an assistant under Collins, has been coaching the Sixers’ summer league squad, but due to the secrecy under new G.M. Sam Hinkie, it is unclear how seriously Curry is being considered for the vacant head coaching spot. The Sixers have dealt away All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday for raw talent Nerlens Noel and did not even offer free agent center Andrew Bynum a new contract. As summer leagues conclude and the league moves into its dry period in August and September, it is important for a coach to be in place so the team and free agents know what type of system the Sixers will be running.
Or maybe the Sixers want to enter the season as unprepared as possible to maximize their level of stinkage. In the race to the bottom for Andrew Wiggins, anything is possible.