Brett Brown Key To Sixer Success

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Apr 4, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown reacts to a play during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Hornets defeated the 76ers 92-91. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown Key To Sixer Success

Today’s NBA is not the NBA I knew as a young man.  The game has changed in a subtle but significant way.  There are so many young players now, players  who now enter the NBA now at the ripe old age of 19.   In fact, if you could travel back in time to the era when I was first becoming a Philadelphia 76ers fan, you would find a league where  a four year college degree was the norm, a degree that would take a player four years to complete.   Then, it came as no surprise to learn that the expected average age of rookies entering the NBA would come in at 22 years of age.  For the Philadelphia 76ers, 22 years old would place you into the older half of the roster.

In that earlier period, much of a young man’s growth came during his collegiate experience.   First loves, first right to drink, and many of the other challenges that impact a young adults life into a mature and more responsible version had already happened.  The college basketball coach, taking on more than basketball, mentored those young men through life’s many challenges and lessons.

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As a head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brett Brown is called upon to do more than just coach these young men in basketball. He’s called upon to advise them in wisdom, to set priorities, to be and to hold them accountable, to commit themselves to a distant future goal and to the common good of the team.  As a young man enters the NBA, he is experiencing a partial realization of his life’s ambition.  He’s “made it”.  He’s a professional athlete, a member of the elite basketball group known as the National Basketball Association.   Whereas to that young man’s initial instinct is to pause, breathe deeply, and enjoy the moment, it falls to head coach Brett Brown to gently shake them out of that euphoria, point them to the basketball court and to the gymnasium, and reveal that the hard work has just begun.    The battle to remain tied to the NBA must be fought every day.

On the other hand, there is also a group of young men who fall to the other end of the spectrum.  From the moment they hear their name called into service as a Philadelphia 76er, they can visualize all of the hard work and dedication required.  But they falter for other reasons – first time away from home and the protected environment of a college basketball program, and now they are exposed to high income and so many expensive distractions.  Now, in a new city, making new friends and trying to remain atop a myriad of decisions which could be critical to their career down the road, they hesitate.   The sheer weight of the consequences gives them a moment’s hesitation, a reexamination of their personal goals.   To this group, it falls to Brown to pull back the malaise curtain and reveal the thrilling theater of professional basketball.

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