Philadelphia 76ers Rumors: Should Team Stop Interview Process Now and Hire Shaka Smart?

By Mike Gibson
Shaka Smart
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the two angles to the never-ending Philadelphia 76ers coaching search story: one, the Sixers are doing their due diligence to come up with just the right guy, and two, the Sixers have interviewed all of the available guys and have decided they are not really feeling any of them.

With training camp closer than we may realize, it’s comical that the Sixers are the last team to have a head coach considering Doug Collins resigned back in April.

Since the list of interviewees in general manager Sam Hinkie‘s office  is a group of retreads and has-beens, he should take a page from the Boston Celtics‘ playbook and go after a hot college head coach. Since the Celtics already hired Brad Stevens out of Butler, they should go after the next-best available Atlantic-10 coach. They should hire Shaka Smart out of Virginia Commonwealth.

The move would make sense both for the Sixers and Smart, who would be a name Sixers’ fans immediately recognize. Smart would bring his havoc style of pressing defense to the NBA, and even if the Sixers lose a lot of games, they would be a fun team to watch. Heck, the style might actually produce wins in the league.

From Smart’s perspective, the Atlantic 10 he’s in now is not the one he signed up for two years ago with teams like Temple and Butler off to greener pastures. It’s really like going back to the old Colonial Athletic Association.

For the Sixers, it would be a “Smart” hire in more ways than one. Right now, the Sixers have reportedly interviewed several candidates multiple times for the job. San Antonio Spurs‘ assistant coach Brett Brown appears to be in the lead, but current Sixers’ associate coach Michael Curry has also been interviewed.

Also in the group are current NBA assistant coaches Jay Larranaga of the Celtics, Kenny Atkinson from the Atlanta Hawks and the David Vanterpool of the Portland Trailblazers.

Side note: sorry, but if I’m going to get a Larranaga, I want the real one, Jim Larranaga of the University of Miami.

Since all of those guys are assistant coaches, no one really knows how they would do as the guy in charge. We’ve all seen Smart in charge and he’s outstanding. The Sixers should stop this joke of an interview process now and pick up the phone and extend an offer.

Mike Gibson is a Phillies writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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