Sixers' Brown dismisses assistant coaches

New 76ers coach Brett Brown informed Michael Curry, Aaron McKie, and Jeff Capel Thursday night they would not be a part of his staff. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
New 76ers coach Brett Brown informed Michael Curry, Aaron McKie, and Jeff Capel Thursday night they would not be a part of his staff. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: August 18, 2013

In his first big move as 76ers coach, Brett Brown will not retain the team's assistant coaches.

He informed Michael Curry, Aaron McKie, and Jeff Capel Thursday night they would not be a part of his staff. All three were holdovers from Doug Collins' staff, and are under contract for one more year.

It is unclear if they'll remain with the Sixers in another capacity.

Curry was a candidate for the coaching job after Collins resigned April 18.

"I'm doing that for obvious reasons," said Brown, who was hired Monday and introduced Wednesday. "I want to hire my own staff and have a clean start going in that direction. ... I feel like it's important that I come in with my own staff and start fresh and try to rebuild."

The former San Antonio Spurs assistant wouldn't disclose his assistant-coaching candidates. However, he wants those positions filled by early September.

Brown said he made difficult phone calls to the former coaches. In Curry, McKie, and Capel, he saw quality people with a tremendous history in this city, who worked hard up until the end.

"Michael did a great job with the summer-league team," Brown said. "Aaron did a great job with workouts, coaching here in the gym. Coach Capel has had a history here, albeit fairly brief. But he still became a part of the program.

"And these are always difficult decisions, and one that I feel like I have to make at this particular time."

Brown's decision to release the coaching staff doesn't come as a surprise. New coaches usually bring in their own staff.

Mike Malone, who was hired by the Sacramento Kings in June, didn't retain Kings assistants Jim Eyen, Alex English, Bobby Jackson, and Clifford Ray. Jackson, a former Sacramento player, remained with the team in another capacity.

The former Sixers assistants could not immediately be reached for comment.

Curry was the associate head coach and came to Philadelphia with Collins three years ago. He is widely respected in the league and has NBA head coaching experience. The Alabama native led the Detroit Pistons to a 39-43 record and a first-round playoff exit in 2008-09. He was fired after his only season as a head coach.

The defensive-minded coach was responsible for the Sixers' solid defense during his first two seasons here.

McKie, a North Philadelphia native, was a former Temple and Sixers standout as a player. He had a brief stint as a volunteer coach on the Sixers staff in 2007. He later became a full-time assistant with the franchise in 2008 and served under four head coaches - Mo Cheeks, Tony DiLeo, Eddie Jordan, and Collins.

Capel came to Philadelphia as an assistant coach in November 2011. His previous NBA assistant-coaching stop was with the Charlotte Bobcats.

"You don't make that call very lightly at all," Brown said of informing the assistants they were released. "It's a very difficult call. And I make it with appreciation and respect for what they have done.

"I just feel philosophically to start a new era and start a new rebuild that it's important that I establish my own staff. This does not disrespect anybody. It's just a philosophical decision that I feel that I had to make."


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

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