Timing wasn't right for Philly native McKie

Timing wasn't right for Philly native McKie

August 16, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Aaron McKie spent 14 years with the Sixers' organization -- eight as a player, six as an assistant coach. (USA Today Images)

Brett Brown will be bringing a completely new coaching staff on board.

Two days after being introduced as the head coach, Brown and the Sixers dismissed assistant coaches Michael Curry, Aaron McKie and Jeff Capel (see story), all of whom were under contract for the upcoming season.

It’s not a surprising move as a new coach often brings in his own staff. And in the case of a first-time head coach like Brown, his support system will be critical.

Curry and Capel were new to Philadelphia when Doug Collins brought them on board. McKie, however, was a long-time city favorite -- playing his high school, college and part of his pro career in his hometown.

He had a stellar career under Bill Ellerbee at Simon Gratz High School. He played for Hall of Fame coach John Chaney at Temple University, which led to him being selected 17th overall in the 1994 draft by the Portland Trailblazers.

And in the NBA, he played for both Collins and Larry Brown, two bona fide teachers of the game.

McKie had been on the coaching staff since 2007 in which he worked under Maurice Cheeks, Tony DiLeo, Eddie Jordan and Collins.

In the summer of 2010 -- Collins’ first year as the head coach -- McKie had the opportunity to be the head coach of the Sixers’ summer league team. It was an experience he relished.

“I am having a blast. I am loving it,” he said in 2010. “Absolutely I want to be a head coach one day, but I am in no rush. I want to learn as much as I can, it’s not so much X’s and O’s as it is managing those timeouts. It’s managing three minutes left in a game and it’s nip and tuck, that’s where a coach makes his money. That’s where he makes his mark.”

McKie was never a lead assistant coach on the Sixers’ staff. That will likely be his next move.

There are many who had hoped McKie would succeed Collins and continued his storied hometown journey, but the timing wasn’t right. That is not to say somewhere in the future he may work for the franchise that was a huge part of his playing career and set him on his coaching path.

McKie played 13 years in the NBA, and eight of those were with the Sixers, where he won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2001.

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