April 15, 2016
Bryan Colangelo didn’t mince words.
While on Breakfast on Broad, the Philadelphia 76ers’ brand new president of basketball operations was asked to respond to a CBS Sports report that stated, if associate head coach Mike D’Antoni received another head coaching offer, Colangelo might hand Brown a pink slip in order to keep the "Seven Seconds or Less" braintrust intact. He denied this:
“Brett Brown is going to be the coach,” Colangelo said at the end of the video above. “I think Mike D’Antoni might even go away to another job opportunity because there are two or three teams that are going to be asking.”
“I think Mike is a perfect candidate for a couple of them, but I hope he’s here because I really think he’s a good basketball coach that can add a lot to what Brett is doing,” he added.
So, there is your answer. Brown has been portrayed as a sympathetic figure over the past three years for coaching such a young roster that had a glaring lack of talent — Even if he somewhat knew what he signed up for, the guy still had no shot most nights — but he was Sam Hinkie’s guy and that is important. Despite accumulating the worst winning percentage in NBA history of anyone who has coached more than 82 games over the past three years, Brown’s original four-year contract was extended by two years in December.
Across all sports, the job security of coaches who are inherited by new general managers isn’t all that great. Colangelo comes in at a difficult time in his own right, just before the NBA Draft (which is the Sixers’ Super Bowl). On Thursday morning, the Sixers met as an organization and Colangelo addressed the basketball operations staff as a group for the first time.
It wasn’t close to the first time he talked with Brown, though. In his opening press conference, Colangelo alluded to the possibility of change in both management and on the coaching staff. Brown, who he says is staying put, has been made aware of possible turnover.
“So who is moving forward on everything?” Brown said. “Basketball ops, coaching staff, etc. How are we forming the team, the design of the team, existing players, possible free agents? [And] touching now on conversations on the draft. And so all over the place, there is fluid movement, real discussion on possible change.”
Everyone in the organization has referred to this upcoming season as a new phase of Sixers basketball, the next step of The Process. If the Sixers do have a more veteran roster by the time October comes around, the demands of the coaching staff could be very different from the past three years.
Even though Brown acknowledged that there could be changes to his staff, he said that experience won’t be an area that the Sixers specifically target.
“The coaching staff we have right now is fine by me,” Brown said. “I respect them, I like them, we have gone through some things. I think we tick multiple boxes of experience, age, and skill package of ‘Can you develop people of the floor?’ That [experience] is not even close to where we’re setting our sights.”
Although Brown wasn’t picked by Bryan Colangelo, his initial impressions of his new boss are positive. We will see if they stay that way.
“I feel the partnership that I can grow with Bryan is real,” Brown said. “I see it, you talk to him and it’s a very comfortable and easy conversation. And there are shared interests on how we grow a winning program without compromising [with] reckless speed.”
The NBA settled its draft tiebreakers today, and the ping-pong balls were again unkind to the Sixers:
1. The Miami Heat finished last in its four-way tiebreaker, so the Sixers own the 24th pick (which could have been as high as 21st) of the 2016 NBA Draft. The Heat sliding back into the Top-10 at the very end last year really stings at this point. The Sixers also own the Oklahoma City Thunder's 26th pick.
2. The Sacramento Kings won their three-way tiebreaker, and they inherit the 8th spot in the lottery. Note that the Sixers only receive 1 (of 1000) extra ping-pong balls for pick swap purposes, because Sacramento, Milwaukee and Denver split the rest of the 8-10 positions equally.
As long as Sacramento stays in the Top 10 (which is likely), the Kings will owe an unprotected 2019 first-round pick to the Sixers via the Nik Stauskas/Carl Landy/Jason Thompson salary dump.
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