On his latest podcast, former Sixer JJ Redick invited his ex-teammate Jimmy Butler to discuss a few topics. They started discussing the Miami’s Heat success but eventually moved on to the elephant in the room, the Philadelphia 76ers.
What was Said?
Redick and Butler both left during free agency this year as the Sixers opted to retain Tobias Harris and sign Al Horford in free agency. Both players were instrumental to the Sixers playoff run but the team decided to move on from both. There seemed to be a disconnect between Butler and the franchise and the Sixers were unwilling to pay Redick.
Butler was asked if the previous season was difficult and his response was clear as could be. He explained his frustrations with the Sixers’ organization saying, “Hell yeah, it was difficult. It was so different, On any given day, me as a person, as a player I didn’t know who the ____ was in charge”. Redick and Butler discussed and agreed that there were too many cooks in Philly. Too much direction, coming from too many different people, and none of it was helpful.
The two former teammates also took time to discuss meetings held by Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown. According to Butler and Redick the meeting was between both of them and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. According to Butler and Redick nothing got accomplished in that meeting “We’re just sitting in here watching film and you can literally hear the thing just clicking”. He continued, “JJ why would I go back in there? Nothing got accomplished”.
Butler decided to voice his own opinion after it became clear to him no one else would come forward. Butler explained what really happened during his alleged blow up with Coach Brown on December 29th. The situation was overblown according to Butler who claimed all he did was stick up for another former Sixer TJ McConnell. Butler simply mentioned that McConnell wanted to run more pick-and-rolls.
How to Receive This?
Unfortunately, given what we’ve seen from the Sixers as an organization this season, what Butler and Redick said seems perfectly plausible. The organization clearly has too many cooks between Brett Brown, Elton Brand, and Joshua Harris. Every team has a Head Coach, General Manager, and Managing Partner. It’s not that having those roles is an issue, the problem is that the lines are blurred. Both Brett Brown and Harris constantly infringe on Elton Brand and cause confusion for the players.
The Sixers’ Head Coach is too involved in the front office. Their General Manager is inexperienced and is too personally connected with the players. The team’s Managing Partner has no basketball know-how but for some reason still has an opinion that he makes perfectly clear. Butler and Redick clearly have a point about not knowing who was in charge.
This discussion also showed that the Sixers need a new voice in the locker room. Brett Brown cannot coach this team next year baring a miracle Finals run. The team will need to either evaluate Brand or educate him as well.
Unfortunately, Joshua Harris is unlikely to sell the team which is concerning as he clearly does not have a positive impact on the organization.
While you can’t take everything said in this podcast as absolute truth, there’s obviously enough dysfunction to show there may be some truth. Hopefully, the Sixers will address some of their issues this offseason. Whether or not this conversation was truthful, the organization is not looking particularly positive at the moment.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports