Brett Brown Key To Sixer Success

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Oct 12, 2013; Concord, NC, USA; Nik Wallenda walks a wire 140 feet above pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Brown Becomes The Great Wallenda

The Sixers have placed Brett Brown onto a high wire, and asked him to walk quickly.  If he leans too far to the caring about his players side, the constant trades, releases and personnel moves take far too great of a toll.   His heart breaks a little each time a young man is ushered off to a new NBA city, and a new team.   But if he leans too far to the uncaring side, he never connects with his players.  He becomes an academian.   His practices would involve little more than a workout of 15 individuals with little regard for sacrifice or teamwork.

So Brown balances on that high wire each day.   He’s been up there on that high-wire for two years, and the Sixers have him under contract for two more years coming up. After that?  It would be hard to guess. Perhaps he can hold it together long enough to build a winner. Perhaps. But Brett Brown insists on a work ethic from his players, a standing order that is not compromised, non-negotiable. The saga of Joel Embiid‘s surgery to draft to rehab for a year to optimism and some workouts to setback to second surgery have taken Brown to his limits

"“There were times I wasn’t happy. If you can’t coach your best players, I call it buying time and dying. You have nothing. I tell my guys all the time you want me to coach you. You want to show up and be on time. You want to do the right thing. You want to act the right way. Nerlens (Noel) was no different. Other young players go through the same thing, and (as a coach), you go through heartache. You go through things where you have to stand up and say that is not part of our culture. That is normal with any young player and Joel was a part of that. When he started going to the court, his world changed. He had his spirit again, and things got a little bit easier. I don’t begrudge Joel or Nerlens — they’re 20-year olds. It is my job to coach them and build a culture. That is what we experienced this year, but we will be better off for it, like we saw with Nerlens, when [Embiid] is a playing member of the Philadelphia 76ers.”"

But despite the magic of the moves, and the pain of a continuous stream of departing talent and protégés, Brown presses on. For King And Country, or some form of nobility that comes when a professional fulfills all duties and then goes beyond the call of duty.  But Brett Brown is quite knowledgeable of the game of basketball.   It’s that knowledge that makes him a key to Sixer success.  But it also forces him to point out when the Emperor-has-no-clothes, or in this case, the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers need to identify superior talent at the point guard position.

"“At the end of the day, if you want to play in June and you want to play deep in June, you’re gonna have to have a point guard.  I think it’s a point guard’s league. They’re the commander in chief, they’re ball dominant, they’re an extension of the coach. At some point you’re gonna need that. As it relates to us, well we want it, we want it now. Anything that expedites rushed decisions, cloudy decisions, we don’t—I said it to the press before—we don’t want to get pregnant with average players.”- Sixers head coach Brett Brown admits to Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on 94 WIP Mike & Ike Show."

Remember that trade of Brandon Davies?  Davies was a 6’10” prospect on the roster when the only other bigs were Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims.  That forced Brown to convert team play towards a small ball scheme.   Less than a year later, what do we have?  A loaded front court.  In fact, with the current roster the team boasts rehabbing 7’0″ center Joel Embiid,  6’11” center/power forward Nerlens Noel, 6’11” center Jahlil Okafor, 6’10” power forward Furkan Aldemir, 6’10” power forward Richaun Homes, and 6’10” center Henry Sims.  That’s quite a shift for a team in less than a year’s time.   The expectation is that Brett Brown will have this team coached and ready by the first game on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

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