Woj dropped a little bit of an incendiary device during a live appearance with Scott Van Pelt last night:
"Brett Brown was never Bryan Colangelo's coach or Jerry Colangelo's coach. Their plan was for Mike D'Antoni to be the coach, but he got the Houston job. The thought was they'd get their own coach in there, and they targeted Jay Wright of Villanova." pic.twitter.com/HXtXCOYvrF
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) June 8, 2018
“Brett Brown was never Bryan Colangelo’s coach, or Jerry Colangelo’s coach. And when they came in – when Jerry Colangelo took over – he put Mike D’Antoni on Brett Brown’s staff. Mike D’Antoni wasn’t put there just to be the assistant coach. There was a plan Mike D’Antoni would become the head coach, but Mike D’Antoni got the Houston Rocket job. And even through the great progress they made this year, getting to the second round of the playoffs, winning 50+ regular season games, there was always a thought in Colangelo’s mind they would get their own guy in there. And the guy they had always targeted, I’m told, was Jay Wright at Villanova. But they underestimated how popular Brett Brown was with the fans, ownership, and the players. And the spirit with which Brett Brown carries himself has permeated that organization.”
It was unearthed during the sleuthing of the last week that Bryan Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, knew Mike D’Antoni well, apparently from his days in Italy, and had requested of her husband and father-in-law, in this jacked up basketball dynasty, to take care of him. Hence how D’Antoni wound up coaching the Suns and wound up with the Sixers, so the story goes. So D’Antoni, a fellow Italian, being pegged to replace Brett Brown comes as hardly a shock.
Ditto with two-time National Champion, two-time Naismith National Coach of the Year, and John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching award winner, Jay Wright. He has ties with USA Basketball and, ergo, the Colangelo’s. In fact, I wrote this just a few months ago:
Before the Sixers finished the season on a tear and solidified Brett Brown’s job for their next two championships, one could argue that the Sixers job could have presented just that scenario. They are young, play a wide open, three-point system familiar to Jay, and are run by two Villanova guys (Scott O’Neil and Chris Heck) and the Colangelos, one of whom (Jerry) has deep ties to USA Basketball, for which Jay has been a coach, and was sitting behind Villanova’s bench during the National Championship. That would’ve been the team. But not now– it’s Brown’s job.
I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU’D READ ANY OTHER SITE!
Rather, now, D’Antoni is coaching the Rockets, likely to perennial contendership without ever being able to win the big one. Jay Wright is watching Phillies games with his dog. And Brett Brown has absorbed even more power in the vacuum left behind by the Colangelo clan. Good riddance, bad sirs.