Popeye Jones is joining the Sixers as an assistant coach, a team source confirmed Saturday to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears first reported Jones’ hire.
Jones had been a Pacers assistant since 2013 but is leaving the organization after Indiana hired Nate Bjorkgren to replace Nate McMillan as head coach.
Another former Pacers assistant, defensive mind Dan Burke, also left Indiana to join Doc Rivers’ Sixers staff. The two actually ran a FIBA clinic on the Pacers’ offense in 2018, if you’re curious to get a sense of how they work together.
Sam Cassell, Dave Joerger and Brian Adams are among the other recent assistant coaching hires in Philadelphia. It’s a bench with impressive credentials.
After an 11-year NBA career as a rebounding-focused forward that included stops in Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State, Jones worked for the Mavs and Nets before heading to the Pacers.
“You try to take something away from each guy you played for, and that you worked for as a coach,” Jones said last year. “There’s Dick Motta, my first coach — I take a lot from him. I played for Doug Collins, who I love, who’s a perfectionist. I take a lot from him. I worked for Rick Carlisle for a year.
"I worked for Avery Johnson, who came out of the San Antonio system under (Gregg Popovich). Frank Vogel, who was great in Indiana, I learned from him. And then there’s Nate … all those guys have been instrumental in developing me as a coach.”
Two of Jones’ sons, Seth Jones (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Caleb Jones (Edmonton Oilers), are NHL defensemen.