Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Welcome back, Aaron McKie

Over the last couple of years, the NBA has had a nice little trend of hiring former players to assistant and head coaching positions. To the extent that this has opened up the coaching ranks to new blood (and not just the same coaches who were continually getting fired and rehired), I think it's been a good thing. Since most recent NBA players are black, this has also had the side effect of moving the NBA towards having a more mixed coaching community (being charitable, we'll assume that the traditional whiteness of NBA sidelines was simply the result of GMs and owners hiring people from their social networks, not the result of any hidden racial biases).

All of this is a long about way of saying, "Welcome Back, Aaron Mckie." The news was announced today that Mckie has joined the Sixers as an assistant coach. The blurb from the Associated Press is pretty short, so I'll reproduce it all here (or you can click on the previous link):
PIHLADELPHIA - Aaron McKie, who was the NBA's sixth man of the year when Philadelphia went to the NBA Finals, rejoined the 76ers as an assistant coach.

McKie averaged 7.4 points and 3.3 rebounds over a 13-year career with Portland, Detroit, the Sixers and the Los Angeles Lakers. His best season was in 2000-01 when he averaged 11.6 points and was named the league's top sixth man for the Sixers, who lost to the Lakers in the Finals.

McKie, who had his jersey retired at Simon Gratz High School in 2002, also starred at Temple. He finished his three-year career with the Owls tied for sixth on the school's career scoring list and was named Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year as a junior in 1993.

Will McKie be a good assistant coach? I have no idea, but I always enjoyed watching him play (first at Temple, then for Sixers after he eventually made his way here) so I'm rooting for him.

On a somewhat related note, the Sixers seem to be reaching out to former players more and more over the last few years (Mo Cheeks coming back to coach, Moses Malone was an assistant coach last year, now McKie), and as a fan it's always nice to see some continuity with your team. Maybe the Sixers have always done this, but it has just been with less visible positions. Whatever the case, I'm a fan of the trend and I hope it continues.

No comments: