For the most part, I don't listen to a word Stephen A. Smith says. This time, however, he's getting credit for breaking the news
that Mo Cheeks was fired, so he has to be at least somewhat plugged in to the Sixers front office.
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Smith says he believes Eddie Jordan will be the next Sixers coach without the word interim attached. He goes on to say that it won't happen until next season due to monetary concerns. If they sign Jordan now, they'll have to pay him $3M or so of the contract he had remaining with the Wizards, plus the $3M or so they owe Mo Cheeks.
If Smith's information is sound, I'm pissed. This has nothing to do with Tony DiLeo, I'll have more thoughts about him after the jump. This has everything to do with the franchise going forward. If Jordan really is their guy, and he's going to be their guy for the long term, $3M is not a good enough reason to delay the implementation of the new system by 5 months.
Not to mention the fact that they're basically throwing in the towel for this season after 23 games.
Now, something positive could come out of having DiLeo as the head coach. I've been hearing for years that DiLeo was the guy behind the Sixers' strong drafts over the past several years. He might just be the reason they have guys like Thad Yound and Marreese Speights on the roster. He's got an eye for talent.
Handing the reins over to him now, while the team is struggling and their isn't even a hint at a solid rotation, could be an excellent development. DiLeo should have no loyalty to guys like Dalembert and Green. He should be able to set his rotation by who's playing the best, who deserves the most minutes and who is going to give the team the best chance to win.
If the choice came down to DiLeo vs. Jimmy Lynam, I'm ecstatic. Lynam should probably follow Mo out the door, especially if he really was the x's and o's guy on the staff. A change was needed, and tapping Lynam would've been more of the same.
The thing that this team needs to desperately avoid is what happened to the Bulls last year
. This season is not over. Let DiLeo get in there, bring some order to things, get the rotations figured out and then bring Jordan in to install his system.
I don't like the idea of waiting until next year at all. For one thing, there's no guarantee he's going to still be there. For another, management sunk a ton of money into this roster over the summer. They bought themselves a window in which they can compete. You don't just flush one of those years down the tubes. All hope is not lost.
There's no way you're going to fire Mo and then hire Jordan to coach a game the same day. What I'm hoping will happen is that the Sixers will let DiLeo coach tonight against the Wizards, then they'll announce Jordan as the coach tomorrow. They don't play again until Wednesday, and then they have a fairly easy stretch of games against Milwaukee, Washington and Indiana. Get Jordan in here, give him three days of practice to get acclimated to his players, then give him three winable games to get his feet wet on the bench.
The Sixers haven't sunk to the point where they can afford to go the rest of the season with a guy at the helm who has never coached a game in the NBA, and doesn't really have aspirations to do so.
At the very least, get someone with some coaching experience to ride out the season. He doesn't have to be the long-term solution, but at least give the team a chance to pull things together. Firing the coach was the first move you made for a reason. It signifies that you believe in the team, not the direction the coach was taking them.