It seems almost guaranteed that Philadelphia 76ers assistant Brian James will leave the Philadelphia 76ers to be an assistant coach at Northwestern - going from father to son, from Doug Collins' staff to Chris Collins'.
We have a pair of reports from Philly.com, one from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who writes James will go to Northwestern "very soon" after the NBA season ends Wednesday. Meanwhile, Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News writes that nothing is official with James, who still has another year under contract with the Sixers. NEWSPAPER WARZ, amirite? However, pretty much everybody thinks that Doug Collins won't be coming back for another year in Philly - their whole front office is probably headed for a shakeup after trading Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum, whose knees might kinda sorta prevent him from being an effective NBA player, or even, you know, playing - and Collins has already had some pressers where he's expressed his discontent, so it seems like he's just playing out the string.
James' connection with the Collinses runs deep. He went to Illinois State - like Doug - coached Chris at Glenbrook North before he went onto Duke, and has worked at three different teams with Doug - the Sixers, Wizards, and Pistons. He's also held jobs with the Bucks and Raptors, and worked with the Sonics as an advance scout. All told, he has 18 years of head high school basketball coaching experience and 13 years as an NBA assistant coach - not a bad resume.
This seems to be a pretty solid hire. For starters, its a dude who Collins is real comfortable with, and that's super important. Normally it would be somewhat troubling that he has no experience at the college level, but his familiarity with the Illinois high school basketball world means he'll probably be able to recruit the state well. Which, uh, is huge, obviously.
So Collins has hired two of three assistants: Tavaras Hardy and James. Both are guys who know the Chicago area, and that's a great great start towards Collins' stated goal of recruiting Northwestern's home turf well. And we've also got one younger, more exciting guy and one who obviously really knows his hoops. And Greg Paulus is still supposed to be the third, but that's kind of up in the air.
You know what? This whole being excited about Northwestern basketball thing is going well, so far.
Oh, and props to my boy Brandon:
I've heard current 76ers ast. Brian James could be in mix for NU staff. Long time Doug Collins assistant + former coach at Glenbrook North.— Brandon Liebhaber (@B_Liebhaber) April 9, 2013