Brown And The Sixers A Good Fit

HANG TIME, Texas — So it looks like the 76ers will not go into the Oct. 30 season opener against the Heat without a head coach.

The job belongs to Brett Brown, assuming he accepts the offer, and the process of repairing one of the NBA’s most moribund franchises can continue.

It’s a move that should have happened a long time ago and, no, I’m not talking about the past three months since Sam Hinkie took over as general manager. I know all about the impatience of Philadelphians. I am one. Which is why I’m so perplexed about the furor over Hinkie taking his time in the dead of summer to finally get this right rather than an uproar over the past two decades as the Sixers have replaced one Band-Aid with another.

Let’s face it. Even the Allen Iverson Era was ephemeral, since any endeavor involving Larry Brown has the lifespan of a moth.

The hiring of the 52-year-old assistant from San Antonio would be the next step in the kind of sweep-it-all-clean maneuvering that should have taken place in the organization a long time ago instead of the Sixers peripatetic wanderings through the want-ads.

Hinkie has plainly said — though few seemed to listen — that his focus was on a future of two to five years, not beating LeBron and the Heat in less than three months. That’s why he was willing to trade away the team’s best player and All-Star Jrue Holiday and put his faith on Nerlens Noel eventually becoming the No. 1 draft pick talent that was once projected. That’s why the new GM is willing to suffer through a miserable 2013-14 season, and maybe even the next, in order to establish a solid foundation that will serve the team down the line. Hinkie is confident, decisive and forward thinking.

Brown fits into the model with a resume that includes more than a decade of working inside the most consistently successful franchise of the past 14 years and working under Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the league.

After starting out in the operations department in San Antonio, Brown became the director of player development in 2002 and worked extensively with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker as they made the successful transition from the international game into NBA All-Stars. Hinkie, too, has an eye on international talent and would have a coach who is simpatico. The presence of Noel and young point guard Michael Carter-Williams could also take advantage of the teaching abilities of Brown, who also has long experience as the head coach of the Australian national team.

While there might be those who are urging Brown to turn down the Sixers because Philly has been a coaching graveyard and a merry-go-round of old friends and tired names with local ties, there is a better chance that it’s exactly the kind of opportunity that a first-time coach would crave, an opportunity to build from the ground up.

With Mike Budenholzer gone to the Hawks, there is a school of thought that Brown could remain in San Antonio and wait for Popovich to retire, then take over. After all, Popovich has said often through the years that he’ll walk out the door with Tim Duncan, who has two years left on his contract. However, the fact that Brown was willing to previously interview for the Nuggets job might indicate that Pop plans to stay on and usher in the next era with the Spurs. And at that point, are the Spurs any different from the Sixers right now, searching for new blood and new direction?

More than that, you simply don’t tick off years on the calendar waiting for things that might happen. You find a job that is a right fit at the right time and you go for it.

It might have taken a few months longer than some would have liked for Hinkie and Brown to come together. Or it could be the exactly the right kind of marriage that’s been years overdue in Philly.


  1. SIxersfanSincebirth says:

    Everybody knows the Sixers are hoping that New Orleans or themselves get the first pick in the draft so they can pick up Andrew Wiggins

  2. pezbamann says:

    Billy Cunningham……………nuff said

  3. gritsngravy21 says:

    Not even joking around i feel bad for sixer fans. optimistically they could pull off a 30 win season? What would be the point, i honestly would tank it this season and start building through the draft next year. Good luck though for real

  4. Kimmy says:

    In the scheme of things, in the world of the NBA, when it comes to the 76ers….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  5. Game Time says:

    Basically Philly will be worse than last year.

  6. Aussie Warrior says:

    Another Aussie (and old North Melbourne Giants fan) who is pleased to see Brett Brown get his chance. As long as management is willing to stay the course and let him grow through the first year or too (he won’t be measured on wins), then they’ll be better for it in the long run. Won’t be easy with that roster, but if they’ve chosen a good year to hit the lottery, so they might bounce back sooner that you think. At least there is some hope with Thad Young, Evan Turner and eventually Noel.

  7. fishouttawater22 says:

    Are the Spurs any different to the Sixers? ARE THEY ANY DIFFERENT?! Of course they’re f**cking different! One tean was a game away from a championship and had made it to the NBA finals, the other… well… hadn’t done anything like that! What a ridiculous statement.

  8. Mick Zombie says:

    As an Australian fan of the NBA I’d like to see this work out. Brown is well-respected as a coach down here. He completely turned around the Sydney Kings and won the league in the mid nineties with Nth Melbourne. No fans want to see their team do poorly but after giving up Iggy for a player who got paid $16 million to not play a single second they need to start over from the ground up. I think the sixers did well in the draft as they got Noel AND Carter-Williams. Noel is pretty much a write-off for this season but if he can finish next season with around 12pts, 10rebs and 2/2.5 blocks it will be worth it. I’d like to see Patty Mills go with Brown to Philly and get some minutes cos the dude can play.

    • Jerry says:

      Mills can play alright…in the lower leagues of some rubbish “global comp”. one things for sure, he can wave that towel like an all star scrub!

      • Mick Zombie says:

        20 points, three steals and no turnovers in 28 min against Team USA at the Olympics says otherwise dude.

  9. Greg says:

    Wrapped for Brett Brown. He will be sensational. He coached the North Melbourne Giants to the NBL (Asustralia) Championship in 1994 before heading back to the US. He will be excellent.

  10. jon jon says:

    Great article Fran. I am a long time Sixer fan and believe its about time we’ve had some kind of consistency with this organization. Go Sixers!!!

  11. Lakers-Warriors-Suns. says:

    Allen Iverson!!!!!!!!

  12. steppx says:

    this is a strange bit of apologetics. In truth, Hinkle has mishandled this entire process. There is NO TEAM in philly right now. Thats not building, thats tearing down. Yeah, they have two picks next year…..though one is protected. They have Noel (far far far from a lock , and in fact a kid with numerous red flags….but ok…..lets say that works out….) and they have….oh…wait, NOTHING else. They have nothing. its AUGUST…they just now are getting a coach? And this is supposed to be a sign of careful planning???? Really? its desperation now. Brown is an ok hire…or not….who knows. He coached with Pop….so he’s maybe good….maybe not a head coach though. We dont know yet. So basically you have cap space, but no team, so not a desirable destination (as mark cuban) and one extra pick. And Noel who you hope recovers from a bad ACL tear. Why am I not seeing this as zen wisdom?

    • phillyroni says:

      They had NO TEAM when Hinkie arrived. He is making the best out of a BADDD situation.

    • phillyroni says:

      The problem with that thinking is that they had NO TEAM when Hinkie arrived.
      He is simply making the best out of a bad situation, one that the team has been mired in for at least a decade.
      Good move !!!!!!