Billy Lange

Sixers Assistant Becomes Head Coach At St. Joseph’s

The Sixers are losing assistant coach Billy Lange to the college ranks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski. Lange has left Philadelphia’s staff to become the next head coach at St. Joseph’s in the Atlantic 10.

Lange has been with the Sixers for the past six seasons. Prior to joining them, he served as an associate coach at Villanova and spent time at Navy, LaSalle and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

“I am proud of his appointment and he and his family will be missed as friends and Billy in a professional capacity, very much,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said in a statement tweeted by the team. “He has been with me from day one and to see where he started and now where he has ended up, is a fantastic human and basketball story. We will be following him closely. Go Hawks.” (Twitter link).

Eastern Notes: Knight, Sixers, Bucks

Brandon Knight, who was sent to the Cavaliers at this season’s trade deadline, is embracing his role as a mentor to Collin Sexton, Joe Vardon of The Athletic writes.

“I don’t know what the process was before I got here … I do know since I’ve gotten here I try to talk to [Sexton] as much as I can,” Knight said. “I see myself a lot in him as a young guard having vets around me, having to learn when to score and when not to score, trying to use my speed but also trying to slow down. There’s a lot of things I had to deal with. So when I see him do certain things I’m like, ‘Man, I used to do that.’ ”

Knight and Sexton were each selected eighth overall in their respective drafts. Knight started for most of his career and he knows what it’s like to feel the pressure of being a top selection.

“It took me a couple years,” Knight said. “If we can get him to do that — what I learned year four — by year two, how much better will our team be? I just try to tell him those little things.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers assistant coach Billy Lange has interviewed for the St. Joe’s head coaching job, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Lange has been with the team for six seasons.
  • The Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks‘ G League affiliate, has fired coach Jordan Brady, according to the team’s Twitter feed. “We greatly appreciate Coach Brady and his staff for their efforts the past 2 seasons,” GM Dave Dean said. “While they have played a significant role in the organization’s growth on the court and in the community, we feel it’s in the best interest of the Herd to explore other options.”
  • Something needs to change in Boston, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports contends. Inconsistency has plagued the Celtics all season, prompting Forsberg takes a look at some potential lineup changes that coach Brad Stevens could make.

Odds & Ends: Nunnally, Kirilenko, Brownlee, Rocks

D-Leaguer James Nunnally's name has come up in connection with a handful of NBA teams of late, having drawn the attention of the Spurs, Jazz, Suns and Pelicans. The Grizzlies may be most intrigued by the 6'7" swingman out of UC-Santa Barbara, as they've invited him to camp, reports Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. Still it doesn't sound like Nunnally has accepted that invitation yet, as he'll work as scheduled out this week for Utah and New Orleans. Here's more from this afternoon in the NBA:

  • An NBA investigation into Andrei Kirilenko's discount contract with the Nets has cleared the team of any wrongdoing, a source tells Fred Kerber of the New York Post. Complaints from at least one other team triggered the probe.
  • The Knicks are thinking of inviting small forward Justin Brownlee to camp after watching him play for their summer league squad this year. The 25-year-old from St. John's will work out for the team this week, tweets Jared Zwerling of 
  • Agent Burton Rocks tells Hoops Rumors that the players union has certified him and his Burton Rocks LTD firm, which boasts a dozen baseball clients, as the MLB Trade Rumors Agency Database shows. Rocks is breaking into hoops by repping former Stony Brook standout Muhammed El-Amin.
  • Villanova assistant coach Billy Lange has turned down the Rockets' offer to become the head coach of their D-League affiliate, but he's considering a job with the Sixers, reports Dana O'Neil of
  • The Grizzlies traded for Kosta Koufos this summer, and they've coveted the former Nuggets big man for more than a year, as TNT's David Aldridge writes as he hits on a wide range of subjects for his weekly column. 
  • Forbes today published its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, and Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen leads all sports owners in net worth, notes Darren Rovell of
  • John Schuhmann of examines some of the data teams will be able to use under the league's new SportVU camera deal.

Western Notes: Hunter, Rockets, Melo, Ellis

Let's round up a few Friday afternoon items from around the Western Conference….

  • Ex-Suns coach Lindsey Hunter is in the process of finalizing a deal that will land him on the Warriors' coaching staff, reports Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (via Twitter). Hunter was considered by the Suns and Pistons for head coaching openings this summer, but both teams went in other directions.
  • The Rockets are engaged in discussions with Villanova assistant Billy Lange about making him the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. As Wojnarowski notes, the Vipers' last two coaches, Nick Nurse and Chris Finch, have since been hired as NBA assistants.
  • Fab Melo's contract with the Mavericks is fully non-guaranteed, according to Mark Deeks of (via Twitter). Regardless of whether or not he earns a spot on Dallas' regular-season roster, Melo will still be paid by the Grizzlies under his previous contract.
  • Although many observers believe adding a high-volume shooter like Monta Ellis won't improve the Mavericks, Lang Greene of HoopsWorld plays devil's advocate, arguing that perhaps Ellis is exactly the sort of scorer the team needs.