Brett Brown spoke glowingly of the work that Billy Lange has done as his longtime assistant. He used the term “natural fit” multiple times in describing the pairing of Lange and Saint Joe’s. 

Lange will take over immediately for the Hawks program that let Phil Martelli go last week after 24 seasons on Hawk Hill. This seems to be a good diplomacy-through-marriage move for both sides as the Sixers look to continue their development and progression path for players and coaches alike. 

Lange worked his way from player development assistant behind the bench to being on the bench leading the Sixers’ defense.

Lange’s Replacement

Lange will be replaced on the bench by Jim O’Brien who had been a consulting assistant to Brown. Brett cited O’Brien’s deep tenure in coaching and previous head coaching experience as key reasons for the move onto the bench at this time of year versus moving someone else like Monty Williams or another assistant in a development and growth opportunity. 

Brett described O’Brien’s previous role in analyzing video from the coaches offices during games to provide halftime insights as an invaluable addition. He raved about Jim’s wisdom and intelligence, but told PFO before Thursday’s game that he does not intend to put another assistant in that role this year.