Current 76ers head coach Brett Brown has had what most would call a “unique” first six seasons in the NBA. He was hired back in 2013, leaving a prestigious position on Greg Popovich’s Spurs staff, for a team that had one of the youngest (and one of the worst) rosters in the entire NBA.
In the span of just 5 short years, Brett Brown and his Sixers went through a plethora of seemingly “franchise players”. Evan Turner, Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Markelle Fultz were all drafted in the top 11. None remain on the team today.
In this same timeframe, the 76ers also rinsed through three general managers. Fan-favorite Sam Hinkie was fired for “tanking”, Bryan Colangelo was outed after bashing Joel Embiid on Twitter, Brett Brown himself was actually given control of team operations at one point in 2018, and now ex-Sixer Elton Brand is running the front office.
The 76ers went all-in in 2018. Brand made a plethora of hyper-aggressive moves at the trade deadline, shipping off young talent and draft picks alike with the goal of acquiring star players. Brown himself even referred to it as “star chasing” in a mid-season press conference.
The moves ultimately failed, as the Sixers saw themselves exit the playoffs in the second round for the second straight season. Jimmy Butler left the team in free agency, and it seemed inevitable Brett Brown would take a majority of the blame.
However, given the nature of how Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals ended, and given the fact that Elton Brand went and acquired even MORE star power for Brown this offseason (Josh Richardson and Al Horford), the vibe surrounding Brown seems to be quite positive.
Brett is not the greatest play-caller or rotation builder, this much is obvious. But what he lacks in these regards, he makes up for in being an extremely good talent developer. Simmons, Embiid, Saric, Covington, Carter-Williams, Shamet, etc etc etc. The list goes on and on of players that Brown has helped elevate. Expect a guy like Matisse Thybulle to make quick steps in becoming a NBA-level roleplayer.
With all that said, the time for development may have just come to a conclusion. Simmons, Embiid, and Horford are all former All-Stars. Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson are two of the top young talents in the NBA. The bench is loaded with above-average ballplayers. Brown seemingly has the teams’ vote of confidence for now, but it could, in fact, be championship or bust for the veteran coach.
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports