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Iguodala calls for Sixers shake-up
PHILADELPHIA — As the Sixers’ spokesman, its face, Andre Iguodala figures he should have input.
As the team’s general manager, Ed Stefanski better get ready to listen.
“We could have been a 50-win team,” Iguodala said Thursday night after the Sixers lost Game Six, 114-89, and their Eastern Conference quarterfinal to the Magic, their second six-game, first-round playoff loss in as many seasons.
“Moves. It’s going to be a busy summer,” Iguodala said. “I’m going to sit down with Ed and discuss what I think will get us over the [hump].”
As for coach Tony DiLeo, the team’s assistant GM who replaced Maurice Cheeks in December and led the club to the playoffs, well, Iguodala didn’t exactly endorse his soft-spoken boss.
“We’ll see about that,” he said, when asked whether DiLeo should return. “We’ll talk. We’ll try to get the best-case scenario.”
Stefanski did not immediately respond to an interview request Thursday night. But that’s OK. Those issues concern next season. This year’s edition underachieved, Iguodala contended.
Why weren’t they a 50-win team? Why did they win only 41 games? Why did they lose seven of their final eight? Why did they implode Thursday night to a Magic team without both All-Star center Dwight Howard and ascending shooting guard Courtney Lee?
Iguodala didn’t mention the Sixers’ loss of Elton Brand to a shoulder injury in midseason.
What he mentioned was overeager, inexperienced players who were allowed to err again and again: “We weren’t always there.”
“We had mental lapses. We had inner turmoil. We have a young team. At times, I think we have a tough time understanding the importance of communication as a whole,” Iguodala said.
When mistakes were made by the younger players, he said, “Instead of trying to make it up for the team, they’d try to make it up for themselves.”
The main “younger players,” of course, were second-year forward Thaddeus Young, rookie forward Marreese Speights and, perhaps, backup guard Lou Williams.
Iguodala declined to name names, but the candidates were obvious.
Perhaps in his meeting with the boss, Iguodala will be more specific.