I was going to add these to the earlier story, but they were lengthy and strong quotes, so I figured I’d use them in a separate post instead.
Brett Brown seemed.. defiant? Was he defiant this morning? Maybe that’s not the right word, but I feel like he was in rare form, assertively talking about his role as a head coach and emphatically describing how far this franchise has come since 2013, when he was hired to replace Doug Collins.
Josh Harris, speaking this morning, explained that Brown’s job was never in jeopardy, and Brett confirmed that when he spoke to the assembled media about 30 minutes later.
“It is accurate,” Brown said of his assured job status. “Going into the Toronto series, (Josh) and I had multiple conversations. As it plays out, you’re never sure which way it’s gonna go. In regards to, is it a relief? It’s deeper than that, given the history I’ve had here. It’s something that we’re proud of, the things that we’ve done, and it’s deeper than that.”
Howard Eskin, the King, was also in classic form today. He asked for clarification, and if Brett was reassured of his job status during the playoffs, which led to a rather epic answer, after the jump:
Just so we’re clear, my discussions with Josh Harris since I’ve been employed have been very direct. In relation to ‘am I going to be the coach or am I not,’ those discussions were had clearly, like I’m talking to you now, for a long time. The Toronto series, if that’s what you’re asking, yes. I’m the son of a coach, I’m the 5th longest tenured coach in the NBA. Coaching doesn’t happen for all of us, it doesn’t happen forever, whether it’s my terms or somebody else’s. I’m proud of what we’ve done here. I love working for Josh Harris and David Blitzer. I’m thrilled to have Elton Brand as one of however many general managers I’ve had. I was one for three months. So when you look back, (you) look at back-to-back 50 win seasons, we’re playing in the semifinals and the ball hangs on the rim for what seemed like a month, and we’ve got two NBA All-Stars.
When I put my rear view mirror hat on and I remember going to PCOM, we were at PCOM. Think about that. I had one court. I wouldn’t even go down to my players’ locker room, I was ashamed; I didn’t want to go down there. Now we’ve arrived at a place where we have a chance for annual success. We have a chance to knock out, annually, 50-win seasons and truly contest for a championship. I can’t look at players or you more sincerely and say that. This is a destination. It wasn’t when I came here. In fact, it wasn’t even close. What it did have was an amazing city. And it had an amazing basketball rich history, from colleges to the Philadelphia 76ers. As we go through this question, which you know is going to come up, I’m proud of where we were and where we are. I understand the lay of the land as a coach in the NBA just fine. I sleep fine. I love coaching my players. We have a culture where they want to be here. They want to play here. To recruit free agents, to hold on to people. I like the fact that I can go get coaches. If you’re confident you look at them and say, ‘I’ll do whatever I can to help you advance.‘ Here we are and there we were. Yes, Josh and I speak freely. Yes, I was completely aware of how he saw my role in the future as the playoffs unfolded.
That’s something else, that quote. And he’s not wrong, certainly this entire franchise has come a long way in six years. The Sixers have also exited the playoffs in the second round in consecutive seasons. I think Brett Brown questions are certainly fair, and he would probably agree, but whatever side of the argument you fall on, the fact of the matter is that he’s going to be running this team next year.
Brett was also asked about Monday night’s meeting with Harris. What did they discuss? Did they talk about what he needs to improve as a coach? How about players, strategy, free agent pursuits?
Last night’s meeting, it seems, I’m kind of a social misfit most times, sort of, and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t like this delineated dramatic stuff. I went through 17 exit interviews yesterday. We lose as we lost, we get in from Toronto at two in the morning, I’m back here at ten, and every 20 minutes a player comes through my door. We talk about family and thank yous and a little bit about basketball. Then I get in a car service and go to Manhattan. We have dinner with Elton and Josh and so on. It’s part of the day where you have exit interviews and tighten things up. To get into specifics of like, ‘here we are or this is what I have to do to improve as a coach,’ or a program, or a GM or whatever, we talk surface (level) stuff. The granular stuff is coming. It was more holistic and really talking about certainly the design of the team and things. But to be specific to the question, it really didn’t come up much.
There you have it. Brett Brown is the head coach and his job was never truly in question, not according to Brett Brown and Josh Harris.