Brett Brown Key To Sixer Success

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Feb 27, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward

Robert Covington

(white jacket) reacts with team mates after a score against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers defeated the Wizards 89-81. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

United We Stand

That type of mentoring, of providing the right mix of encouragement and discipline, is not easily done from a distance.   It draws individuals closer.   The coach becomes invested in his player’s success, and roots for it secretly.  The players feel gratitude and respect for the wisdom that is given freely and without hesitation.   Yes, this NBA is more than a professional sport.   It is an incubator of maturation, a system of bringing the best knowledge, practices, and wisdom to the avail of young men, some of whom are just emerging from one year of college.

"EDITORS NOTE: The NBA high school draftees are players who have been drafted to the National Basketball Association (NBA) straight out of high school without playing basketball at the collegiate level. The process of jumping directly from high school to the professional level is also known as going prep-to-pro. Since 2006, the practice of drafting high school players has been prohibited by the new collective bargaining agreement, which requires that players who entered the draft be 19 years of age and at least one year removed from high school.  Some of the NBAs greatest players have taken this “Prep-to-Pro” route, including Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, 76er great Darryl Dawkins, LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire to name a few."

Even with the delay of emerging basketball talent for one year before entering the NBA, much of life’s most critical lessons remain in the windshield.   Young men need varying degrees of guidance, reassurance, and sometimes just a good listener.  Brett Brown, as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, is asked to give all of that, in copious amounts, to whomever asks. And then, sometimes, Brett Brown is asked to say goodbye to those players he has grown so attached to, and say hello to the next wave of youthful hopeful faces who want so desperately to make this team.

"“When you start losing people that you are very fond of and have tremendous respect for, there is a human side of it that bothers me because you are trying to grow chemistry, you are trying to grow a culture.  That takes a hit when teammates lose teammates. There is a respect, effort-wise, of how they go about their business. There is a reality to our job that is just business in the NBA, but it doesn’t mean it has to feel right.” – Brett Brown"

Brett Brown has had to say goodbye to a number of young players he had invested in, and grown fond of.  Who wouldn’t be fond of the young men he’s had to mentor, and care for?  Young men entered the league with talent and a blank canvas.  Each career has received one or more brush strokes from the Brown’s brush.   And while the greatest talent so far to be taken from Brown is likely Michael Carter-Williams, it wasn’t the loss of MCW that caused such a heartfelt quote from Brown This was his reaction to losing Brandon Davies.   Brandon Davies was an emerging young talent who was an undrafted talent.  But he was diligent in his effort, working long hours in the gym and in listening and learning from coach Brown.

"He (Davies) is a role player, but we saw him grow his perimeter game. We saw him make some turn-and-face jump shots. He always played with that reckless abandon. He is one of those low-maintenance guys that teams look for who want to have high-character, solid people at the 15, 14, 13 roster spots. I think his better days are ahead of him because he improved with us.”"

Brown has had to say goodbye to players he’s coached, mentored, and befriended.  He took losing Alexy Shved hard. When the 76ers traded both Michael Carter Williams and K.J. McDandiels, Brown took it even more soberly:

"“I am going to miss those guys. I appreciate the work they put in. They gave A-plus efforts, and they were great teammates. They showed tremendous improvement.” – Brown’s response after trade of MCW and KJD"

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