Sam Dalembert has been in a Sixers uniform for nine seasons. And when he strolls to center court for next year’s tip-off, he’ll be playing for his eighth different coach.
If it wasn’t so pathetic, it might be funny. Even Dalembert had to laugh before admitting all the turnover at the helm of the ship can be hard.
“Every time I feel like I’m moving forward, they’re telling me I have to step back and re-evaluate what the new coach wants me to focus on,” Dalembert said.
But, after missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, the Sixers are changing coaches again. General manager Ed Stefanski went through an exhaustive search last year before emerging convinced that Eddie Jordan was his man. Now, he’ll do it all over.
“What I thought would happen did not occur,” Stefanski said of hiring Jordan. “The decision was not the right one.”
After learning of Jordan’s dismissal Thursday morning, the players admitted that they often did not understand what their former coach was doing.
“We lost our image,” Thaddeus Young said. “We didn’t do any of the things we did in my first two seasons.”
Elton Brand was benched early in the season, Lou Williams lost his starting job to injury, Jason Kapono saw minutes only after the season was in shambles, Marreese Speights appeared unmotivated and Young took a giant leap backward.
“Overall, we were confused,” Dalembert said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen each day.”