Inside the Sixers: If we listen to Hinkie, none of this is a surprise

Under new GM Sam Hinkie, the Sixers took 110 days to offer the head coaching job to Spurs assistant Brett Brown.
Under new GM Sam Hinkie, the Sixers took 110 days to offer the head coaching job to Spurs assistant Brett Brown. (Staff)
Posted: August 12, 2013

It appears this is the week the 76ers will finally hire a head coach. But the prolonged coaching search isn't surprising.

The Sixers offered the job to San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown on Friday, 110 days after former coach Doug Collins resigned. This weekend both sides are trying to work out the details of a long-term contract.

ESPN reported Saturday that the Spurs were bracing for Brown to accept the job.

Even though the 52-year-old was the front-runner for some time, we had to know the coaching search would last this long. New general manager Sam Hinkie basically told us it would.

In fact, if we had listened closely, none of his offseason moves are surprising.

Think about it.

Back on May 16 - his third day on the job - the former Houston Rockets executive said in a roundabout way that he was willing to trade Jrue Holiday, the Sixers' best player.

"So you've got to try to figure out . . . who the best players are likely to be," he said back then while in Chicago at NBA predraft camp. "Not who the best players are this very moment. That's not even very important, unfortunately.

"What's important is who the best players are going to be and in two years or five years, or maybe for the very best ones, eight years. That's the most important one instead."

Yet, we were shocked June 27 when Hinkie shipped the all-star point guard to New Orleans for rookie center Nerlens Noel.

Hinkie also informed us that his first 100 days on the job were dedicated to making offseason moves - the draft, search for a coach, and free agency. Sunday marks the 35-year-old's 90th day on the job.

"I doubt this is a surprise that we're going to follow a really methodical process," Hinkie said during Noel's introductory news conference July 23. "It's not all that unusual for people to take their time, post-draft and post-summer league, to sort of find what is a really big decision and a really critical hire."

But instead of remembering what he told us, we grew more impatient as each day passed without a coach.

Never mind that there wasn't an urgency to put one in place. The Sixers are in the midst of diluting their roster and playing for position in the talented 2014 NBA draft.

As a result, the goal was to hire someone who will coach the Sixers for the long haul.

"I'm only trying to do what I think is right," Hinkie said, "and that's build something that the owners want and that I think the fans want. I want to build something that is lasting, and that is special with a capital 'S.' "

And he said from the beginning that that requires investing time to make sure you hire the right coach.

We just weren't listening.


Contact Keith Pompey @ kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers.

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