PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers hired Jim O'Brien as their coach Tuesday, handing the former Boston Celtic coach a team that could be on the verge of a major rebuilding project.
O'Brien replaces Chris Ford, who was promoted from assistant on an interim basis after Randy Ayers was fired Feb. 10. O'Brien will be introduced today at a news conference.
O'Brien, 52, stepped down as coach of the Celtics on Jan. 27 after clashing with Danny Ainge, the team's executive director of basketball operations. O'Brien was 139-119 with the Celtics and led them to the Eastern Conference finals and semifinals the last two seasons.
O'Brien is a Philadelphia native who attended college at Saint Joseph's.
Though star guard Allen Iverson is signed through 2008-09, it's possible he could be traded. Several others, including Derrick Coleman, Glenn Robinson, Eric Snow and Aaron McKie, might be made available.