Sam Cassell is once again on the short list to become a head coach, this time for Temple basketball. But the longtime assistant might not be able to pry himself away from the Philadelphia 76ers' bench while they are contending for an NBA Championship.
Cassell has been one of the league's most respected assistants for over a decade and has interviewed for vacant coaching positions a number of times. However, being on the staff of a potential title team could be a major boost to his résumé. Especially when that team is the perennially snake-bitten Sixers.
“76ers assistant coach Sam Cassell has drawn interest from Temple University for its head coaching job,” Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported. “At this time, however, Cassell is focused on helping the Sixers compete for a championship.”
Scotto also noted the three-time champion's close working relationship with Tyrese Maxey, who has been crucial both in the starting lineup and off the bench this season for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid is in the running for MVP and James Harden is leading the NBA in assists (10.8). Maxey could be the X-factor for this team in the playoffs. And Cassell's greatest pupil.
Taking the Temple job could require a big commitment from Cassell. The Owls have not had a winning season in four years and reside in the American Athletic Conference, a place not often high on the list for yearly NCAA Tournament selections. They have a proud basketball tradition, though, and could still be a fine way for the former point guard to start his head coaching journey.
He has waited this long, though. Leaving what might be the best Sixers team in the Embiid era could cause for many sleepless nights.