Jim O’Brien was introduced on Wednesday as the new Philadelphia 76er’s head basketball coach. This former Boston Celtic’s coach has wanted to coach all his life. According to Sports Illustrated, the coach said, “It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was 8-years-old, to get a chance to be a head coach in Philadelphia at the college or pro level and it’s come true. And I really want the opportunity to coach Allen Iverson.” O’Brien will be Philadelphia’s 20th head coach and the third to lead the 76ers since Larry Brown stepped down about a year ago. Brian King, the Sixer’s president had named Randy Ayers as Brow’s successor, but shortly thereafter he was fired. Chris Ford replaced Ayers.Some people worried about Iverson’s contract, and if he will be up on the trading block. Billy King told CBS Sports Line, “Iverson is not on the trading block. The guard is signed through 2008-09. Allen will be here next year.”
After O’Brien was announced, he wanted everyone to know his intentions for the team. He told The Herald, “Our goal right off the bat would be to be a top-five team in field-goal defense. In order to do that, they’ve got to work.” It’s good that O’Brien is going into his job with a plan. It shows that there is great potential for the team. He also stated to The Herald that he “will have the same rules for all of his Philadelphia 76ers: Be punctual, treat people with respect and treat everyone fairly.”
This Philadelphia native attended Roman Catholic High School, and was a three-year starter at Saint Joseph’s. He coached the Celtics for about four years. In his fourth year, he resigned from the team, because of clashes with the executive director, Danny Ainge. CBS Sports Line affirmed that “[O’Brien] and Ainge differed on personal decisions. Ainge wanted to build a younger, more offensive team. O’Brien relied on veterans who were strong defenders.”
While O’Brien may have disagreed with Ainge, hopefully his strategies will help lead the Sixers to become a top-five team in field-goal defense. All we can do is cheer on the 76ers, just as we have been doing. It’s all in O’Brien’s hands now.