“Or else.”

It’s an implied thing that only Marcus Hayes heard – that Brett Brown was giving Sixers management an ultimatum – multiple times throughout Brown’s conversation with the media on Thursday night. As Hayes put it, “The two words Brett Brown never spoke resounded loudest in his final interviews of the season.” Nope:

“I hope that if we can have something that is stable and consistent that we are going to be able to talk a little bit easier at this time next year.”

. . . or else.


Nope. Never mind that after Brown made those comments, he said that consistency can’t trump the fact that they’re looking for talent. But what about the misguided idea that Sam Hinkie only drafts players who can’t play immediately in order to prolong the tank:

“If it happens again – I won’t lie, you’re going to bite your lip,” Brown said, chuckled a bit, and continued the joke: “I do admit, in my own contract negotiations, nobody explained to me fully that, for a few years, you might not have your draft picks.”

Translation: Hinkie better not select another long-range Euro star or a high-ceiling player with a year of rehab ahead of him.

. . . or else.

Nope. Brown, throughout the season, has expressed frustration, hope, pride, and any number of other emotions. He’s never come off as fed up, or indignant, or over it. That “or else” is coming straight from the cranky mind of Hayes, who, like Howard Eskin, thinks he’s speaking for the common fan. Is he?

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And he even recalls the Michael Carter-Williams trade. Since last season, there were real questions about MCW’s shooting ability, his potential, and his future as a star point guard. So when Hinkie dealt the young point guard, it was a bit shocking, but understood by most fans. Or, as Hayes puts it, it was a damn conspiracy:

Even the blindest followers of the Cult of Sam balked when he shipped MCW to Milwaukee, though within hours – thanks to some cleverly placed misinformation – they regrouped and devalued Carter-Williams.

“Cleverly placed misinformation” is probably the worst synonym of “analytics” I’ve ever heard.

Brown is not in an enviable position. But he’s doing a great job with what he’s got. Doc Rivers said he deserved some coach of the year votes, but Hayes would have you believe he’s overseeing a bastard team, that what the Sixers are doing – trying to build something lasting – is an incomprehensible disgrace.

Hayes didn’t stop at just Brown and MCW.

Nerlens Noel anchored an actually impressive Sixers defense this year. He’ll get some Rookie of the Year votes, but not as many as he should. He finished in the top ten in both blocks and steals (the only player in both), eighth in defensive rating, 11th in defensive win shares, and 4th in defensive plus-minus. Or, as Hayes puts it, “[Nerlens Noel] is about 2 years from competence.”

Please, if you’re going to stir shit, at least make sure it’s the fecal matter you’re looking for. Or else.