Long-time Villanova men’s basketball head coach, Jay Wright, once again has had to shoot down rumors that he is headed for the NBA.
This time, it’s in his own backyard, as he set the record straight on speculation linking him to the Philadelphia 76ers’ opening.
“Out of respect for our Villanova community and our 76ers organization, I feel the need to address speculation about this 76ers head coach position.
The 76ers have a great leader in Elton Brand, outstanding young talent, and an incredible opportunity for any coach to compete for a championship. As a lifetime 76ers fan, I have confidence they will bring in the right coach to build on what Brett Brown has developed.
I am not a candidate for the job. I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova.”
Wright recently also had to shoot down rumors that saw him connected to the New York Knicks’ job back in February after they parted ways with David Fizdale. Those links didn’t last long, however, as ESPN’s Dana O’Neil destroyed any hope for the Madison-Square-Garden dwellers. Last month, they officially hired Tom Thibodeau as their bench boss.
The 58-year-old Wright is preparing for his 20th season at Villanova following a successful seven-year stint at Hofstra University on Long Island. He’s won a pair of national championships over the last five years, which has only catapulted his status as a potential NBA coach, but it remains clear that he isn’t ready to leave the collegiate ranks anytime soon.
The 76ers fired Brown after seven seasons shortly after they were swept out of the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Some early candidates that have been linked to the job include Ty Lue, Ime Udoka, and Stan Van Gundy.