Brett Brown was on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast this week.
It’s great stuff, all of it.
Here are some relevant passages and quotes:
- He thinks he does something like 400 media availabilities a year, which is a combination of radio appearances, pregame, postgame, and practice sessions. That sounds crazy, but I believe it. If Brett speaks twice per game over the course of 82 games, 4 preseason games, and 8-10 playoff games, that’s ~192 appearances right there. That doesn’t even include one-off interviews, like this podcast, or appearances on 97.5 the Fanatic.
- Brown is “acutely aware” of the idea that he is running out of time to get the starting group of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, and JJ Redick clicking. This group has only played something like 80 minutes together since the February trade deadline.
There was a very interesting answer about the relationship with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Brown described reports of tension between the pair as “incredibly overrated” –
Brown: Ben and Joel and I have sat in this office probably too many times in their eyes. It’s almost like being sequestered to the principal’s office. But over time, the messaging hasn’t pivoted. The history I personally have with Ben and his family, the longevity I have with Joel as the longest serving 76er since we’ve all been together, enables me to talk to those two as candidly as candidly could be. The reality that they need each other, that this is their city, that this is their program, you’re gonna be teammates I hope for a very long time. And at some point, that admission needs to rule the day. In the meantime, you don’t have to go have pizza every night or hang out with each other every night. That’s not it. It’s what goes on between the lines, respect. It always ends up with respect. What I have seen is the emerging partnership, relationship, respect between the two. And I think if they were, pick whatever grade you wanna give em, they are completely moving up the food chain. They start to understand. I think with the revolving door we’ve had this year, it’s really sort of expedited, organically, them looking at each other and (saying) ‘here we still are.’ Cov’s not here and Dario’s not here, we just got Jimmy Butler and here comes Tobias, and what’s coach gonna do with play calls and I think all of that stuff organically has even forged a stronger bond.
Lowe: Were there bad times? Were there times where it was getting to a point where you were worried?
Brown: It was never at that stage. Their games are so unique, and Ben’s especially, you know a 6’10” point guard where people don’t pick up quickly or defend hard, they’re sagging off, they’re in Joel’s lap, how do I space Ben? How do we let Ben show his strengths and gifts. He’s arguably the fastest guard in the NBA. A lot of times he outruns the offense. Does it leave Joel in the dust? Growing those two in a partnership was the starting point, because you know it’s not like their games entirely complemented each other’s. So that is real. That is growing. I think to both of their credit, to see those guys fly across the floor and fist bump, hip bump like they did a day ago, for me to look out and see Joel rebounding for Ben, it’s just that their young and people forget that. We’re trying to grow a program under Philadelphia’s pressures and expectations. I’m just so proud of them for where they were – which wasn’t terrible, but not great – and not because of anything else but the things I just said, to a place now where they completely get it. They’re gonna be teammates for a long time. This is their program and this is their city.
More notes, after the jump:
- They talked at length about matchups and mismatches that come as a result of the Sixers’ style of play. That included a bit about Jimmy Butler not getting enough of the ball.
- There has been no more conflict with Butler after the first film session blowup, which Brown again described as “overrated.”
- Brett texted Markelle Fultz after the trade but has not talked to him since the Orlando move.
- He didn’t say too much on Markelle and didn’t want to “speculate deeply.” He did describe Markelle as physically gifted and elite from an athleticism standpoint. “I believe he’s gonna come good,” Brown said.
- Brown said straight up that he believed Fultz was physically injured. “Something was up, and I think his injury expedited maybe uncertainty as to how this whole thing plays out. To point at any other area I don’t think is fair.”
There was a lot more good stuff in the podcast. It’s really worth a listen:
Lowe Post podcast: Brett Brown on readying the new-look Sixers for the playoffs; the Joel-Ben relationship; what happened with Fultz and Colangelo; the challenge of Embiid guarding centers who can shoot (i.e. Horford), much more: https://t.co/FAaUWP3HrY
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 15, 2019