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Sixers hire Jim O'Brien as coach

Old 04-20-04, 09:56 PM
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Sixers hire Jim O'Brien as coach

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1786532

Great move, IMO. I'm sure this means that Glenn Robinson will be traded.
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Old 04-20-04, 11:42 PM
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Anything they do at this point is great move, this has been such a painful year as a 6ers fan
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Old 04-20-04, 11:54 PM
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Jim O'Brien is a great coach, and I hated to see him go, being a Celtics fan. Good move by Philly.
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Old 04-21-04, 08:31 AM
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At first I thought you were referring to Ohio State Buckeyes coach Jim O'Brien. Glad it isn't, I like him at OSU even though they had a poor season.
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Old 04-21-04, 08:47 AM
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In a season in which Larry Brown is fighting for a championship and Allen Iverson is fighting for his career, Billy King somehow managed to maneuver himself through rough terrain, find a coach, and start the process of resurrecting his status as one of the premier young sports executives.

All because he hired Jim O'Brien.

O'Brien, a 1974 graduate of St. Joseph's who resigned as coach of the Boston Celtics on Jan. 27, returned to his roots yesterday, agreeing to become the new coach of the 76ers.

O'Brien will inherit a team fresh off a 33-49 record. One with enough old, haggard bodies to form its own AARP chapter. One with star Allen Iverson, who couldn't get along with his previous coach and whose affection has dissipated in a city he once owned
.
"Winning cures a lot of things," King, the team president, has repeatedly said over the years.

It should in this case as well.

Regardless of the affection for Portland coach Maurice Cheeks - the team's, Iverson's, or even my own - let it be known that King made the right choice here.

Brown, the Sixers' former coach, may have left nearly 11 months ago, but his influence over this franchise was still obvious and downright depressing.

A change was mandated. Even if it meant going away from all-things-Brown, just to leave an indelible print introducing a new era.

In retrospect, the Sixers obviously did not do that with last June's hiring of Randy Ayers, Brown's assistant.

Despite the presence of young players such as Samuel Dalembert, Willie Green, John Salmons and Kyle Korver, the Sixers, by and large, appeared slow, old, and unfocused.

The game appeared to be a chore. Veterans who were thought to be dependable could not be relied upon. Discipline, structure and leadership were conspicuously absent, and the results proved as much - because a team tailor-made for Brown was no longer being coached by Brown.

Iverson missed more than 30 games for the first time in his career. Trade talk swelled. Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson was AWOL, and age crept up on Derrick Coleman. Eric Snow looked depressed. Aaron McKie looked demoralized.

"Things definitely need to change, and they will," King said the last week of the season.
Yesterday, they did.

Philadelphia should consider itself lucky.

In O'Brien, the Sixers have what Danny Ainge, the Celtics' head of basketball operations, evidently did not appreciate: a man who led the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.

"He gets along with everybody," Antoine Walker said weeks ago
.
"He's always well-prepared, and he knows what he's doing. But most of all, he appreciates guys that can get the job done for him, and he's straight-up. You don't have to worry about wondering what he thinks. He tells you, like a man," added Walker, who was traded from Boston to the Dallas Mavericks last summer.

"I loved playing for him," the Celtics' Paul Pierce said weeks ago."You can't deny he's a good coach. All I know is that when he was here, we loved playing for him and I think our record proved that. We all have respect for him."

O'Brien is respected because he's knowledgeable, he's a basketball junkie, and he's won. And when you have Iverson, sealed with a four-year, $76.7 million extension, O'Brien is what it will take to galvanize one of the mercurial talents in this game today.

No one knew this better than King.

King knows that O'Brien will have the support of this city.
So, if Iverson thought his public support waned because of his spats with Chris Ford, imagine if he starts quarreling with Philly favorite O'Brien.

At the end of the day, it's about letting coaches coach and players play. The team president is supposed to be performing administrative duties, not serving as resident therapist.

Because of the old regime and all it had provided over six years, King placed his trust where it didn't belong - in the players.

This time, he's placing it in O'Brien. At the very least, he'll get some peace.
Coupled with more wins.
It's popular here in Philly (article from today's Philadelphia Inquirer by everyone's favorite ESPN personality, Stephen A. Smith)
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Old 04-21-04, 10:55 AM
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Good choice. He'll definitely make this team play defense better. I'm not sure how he'll mesh with AI though but if he can get along with Antoine Walker, then AI should be no problem.
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