Former Sixers Guard a Leading Candidate for Vacant Texas Basketball Job: Report

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Getty Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Royal Ivey during a 2013 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Royal Ivey has become a leading candidate for the open head coaching job for the men’s basketball team at the University of Texas, according to reports.

The highly-touted Division I gig became vacant over the weekend after outgoing coach Shaka Smart was hired by Marquette University as their new head coach.

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The 39-year-old Ivey spent parts of three seasons in Philadelphia, almost exclusively coming off of the bench and averaging 12 minutes per game in his 150 career contests with the Sixers. He appeared in 71 regular season games for the team in the 2008-2009 campaign – his first with the club – plus six postseason tilts.

The previous year with the Milwaukee Bucks was arguably his best season though, as he posted career-highs in games played with 75, minutes per game at 19.2, assists per game at 2.1, and points per game at 5.6, among other categories. Ivey is currently an assistant coach for the loaded Brooklyn Nets.


Ivey Was Traded by the Sixers Twice in His Career

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GettyFormer Philadelphia 76ers guard Royal Ivey during a 2012 game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Technically, when Ivey was moved from the Sixers the first time, neither he nor the team knew it was actually Ivey who was being traded. On June 26, 2002, Philly pulled off a transaction with the Atlanta Hawks that included shipping off a future 2004 second round pick, which ended up being Ivey.

After spending his first three seasons in Atlanta, the Harlem, New York native signed for just one year with the Bucks before heading to the Sixers during the summer of 2008. He was released from the organization the following June, picked back up for 26 games, and then traded from Philly back to Milwaukee in a five-player deal.

In the summer of 2012, Ivey signed as a free agent with the Sixers, played in 53 games that season, and later signed one final, 10-day contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in January of 2014.


Ivey Played for Texas, and Has the Backing of One of the NBA’s Biggest Stars

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GettyPhiladelphia 76ers guard Royal Ivey during a 2009 game against the New York Knicks.

Prior to playing in the Association, Ivey played four seasons for the Longhorns under longtime head coach Rick Barnes, finishing as the program’s all-time leader in games started with 126. During his junior season in 2002-2003, Texas made only their third ever trip to the NCAA Tournament Final Four and first in 56 years.

2003 was the last time the Longhorns made it to the national semifinal game, and they have never won a national title. Texas most recently suffered a major upset loss as a number three seed in the first round of the NCAA tournament against 14th-seeded Abilene Christian.

In college, Ivey was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team twice. In his post-playing days, he has held assistant coaching jobs with the Thunder, Nets, and New York Knicks.

While Ivey is sure to have plenty of competition in fighting for the job, Nets forward Kevin Durant is one guy is backing Ivey, according to Basketball Analyst for Stadium, Jeff Goodman.

Durant is not only currently playing under Ivey in Brooklyn, but is a fellow Texas Longhorn as well. Durant played for Texas for one season from 2006-2007 before being selected as the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

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