Former Philadelphia 76ers assistant coaches are finding a lot of success in the NBA as of late. It might be a tough pill to swallow for the Sixers considering their struggles in the postseason since the team has started consistently entering the playoffs following the dreadful process era.
In 2018, the Sixers clinched a spot in the postseason for the first time since the Joel Embiid era had begun. After making it out of the first round, the Sixers lost to the Boston Celtics in round two.
The following year, the Sixers clinched the third seed before defeating the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Their postseason run ended in heartbreak fashion against the Toronto Raptors.
When the 2020 bubble run approached, the Sixers were swept in the first round against the Celtics. The 76ers moved on from their head coach Brett Brown following the series. The Sixers hired Doc Rivers to replace Brown, hoping the championship-experienced coach could help them get over the hump.
Unfortunately, that plan has been unsuccessful so far. And in the process, the Sixers have now watched two former assistants of theirs take on head coaching positions and help coach their squads to the NBA Finals.
Last season, after the Sixers fell short to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, the Phoenix Suns made a run in the Western Conference to the Finals under the management of Monty Williams. Brett Brown had Williams on his staff for the 2018-2019 run before getting hired in Phoenix.
This season, Williams’ Suns came up short in the second round, but the Boston Celtics clinched their spot in the 2022 NBA Finals with Ime Udoka as their head coach. Udoka joined the Sixers in 2019-2020 during Brown’s final season. While the Sixers considered Udoka to replace Brown, he was far-behind several candidates and eventually took an assistant job in Brooklyn before becoming the coach of the Celtics.
Now, after another second-round exit, Sixers fans remain frustrated watching former Philly assistants lead their teams to the NBA’s biggest stage. Here’s how fans reacted on Twitter on Sunday night as the Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals.