What a turnaround since the 76ers started 0-7.
That’s about when I started to doubt head coach Brett Brown for the first time. In previous seasons of unprecedented losing, I always assumed it’s impossible to see if this man can coach because he’s working with the JV team.
Yet, when the Sixers started 4-18 and 7-24, arguing in favor of Brown was near impossible. He was the absolute essence of losing. The only reason I wrote Brown shouldn’t be fired is he deserves a chance to coach Ben Simmons once healthy, however if the defeats roll on, Brown needs to move on.
Oh, how times have changed.
The Sixers are 17-27 after winning 10 out of their last 13. They were victorious in the past two games without Joel Embiid. They’re playing hard for Brown, learning how to win and truly wearing the personality of the city on their shoulder.
Their product is the hottest ticket in town and other than the fan base, no one deserves this success more than Brown, who’s been here from the beginning.
The longtime NBA assistant put his reputation on the line by signing up for one of the worst jobs in sports at the time. His head coaching record was a dreadful 47-199 after three seasons.
While Sam Hinkie quit – demoted or not – Brown plowed through.
Are the Sixers still a long way from being elite? Absolutely.
Does Brown still struggle with drawing up successful plays out of timeouts? Without question.
But there’s improvement and not everyone is perfect. Charlie Manuel struggled with double switches. Andy Reid continues to stink with clock management and timeouts in Kansas City.
Not only has Brown bought himself a ticket to coach the first overall pick in Simmons, but the likable head coach should get a long-term contract extension of close to 10 years, just like Hinkie reportedly wanted.
Brown earned this recent wave of 76ers excitement. When Hinkie faced a sliver of adversity, he skipped town.
If you’re a Hinkie supporter or are starting to believe more that the tactic of “tanking” was in fact the smart move, ask yourself these questions:
Who’s more likable? You’re answer should be Brown.
Who embraced the personality of the city more? Is it even logical to argue for Hinkie?
Who developed Hinkie plug in’s such as TJ McConnell and Robert Covington? Brown.
Who made the smart decision to finally sit Jahlil Okafor regularly and play a more productive lineup? Brown. Hinkie wasn’t even here to direct the team through that mess earlier this season. In fact, Hinkie was the reason they this center logjam.
While some argue Hinkie should win Executive of the Year despite his unemployment, Brown should without question be a candidate for Coach of the Year.
If you want to continue “Trusting the Process,” you have every right to do so. I’m enjoying this run by the Sixers just as much as any Hinkie-ite. But, “Trust the Process” of Brown’s nurturing of Embiid, Simmons, Dario Saric and others, also.
Are those guys a result of Hinkie’s tanking? Sure.
But championship teams aren’t built on just talented assets alone. A head coach needs to be part of the equation. Brown is anchoring this “process.”