PHILADELPHIA — Barring a snag in negotiations, Brett Brown will become the 76ers’ next head coach. The team has offered the job to the San Antonio Spurs assistant, according to sources. The two sides were working on a contract to bring the 52-year-old to Philadelphia.
If he accepts, Brown, a former South Portland High School basketball star, will become the team’s eighth head coach since Larry Brown resigned after the 2002-03 season.
The news comes as no surprise. Brett Brown for some time has been the candidate the Sixers coveted to replace Doug Collins, who resigned on April 18.
The New York Daily News reported during the June 27 NBA draft that the Sixers had decided to hire Brown. General manager Sam Hinkie later denied the report. Then on July 31, a league source told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Brown was the preferred candidate for the job.
Brown takes over a team that finished 34-48 this past season and appears to be seriously rebuilding.
The Sixers traded Jrue Holiday, an all-star point guard, and acquired the rights to rookie center Nerlens Noel in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night.
They also received the Pelicans’ 2014 first-round pick, which is protected from picks one through five, and a second-round pick (42d overall) in this year’s draft.
The Sixers also acquired Royce White, who has an expiring contract, and the rights to Turkish star Furkan Aldemir from the Houston Rockets for future considerations. And the team claimed two former Rockets, guard James Anderson and center Tim Ohlbrecht, off waivers.
Brown should bring a winning attitude to an organization expected to struggle. He learned from three premier coaches on three levels: his father, Bob Brown; Rick Pitino; and Gregg Popovich.
Brett Brown joined Popovich’s Spurs staff in July 2002 as an assistant coach/director of player development. He moved to the bench as an assistant coach before the 2006-07 season.
The Spurs have won three NBA titles during his tenure. They just missed out on a fourth, losing in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat in June.
Brown played for Pitino at Boston University from 1980 to ’83 and was the team’s most valuable player in 1981. In high school, Brown played at South Portland (Maine) for his father, a New England Basketball Hall of Fame coach. Bob Brown went on to become an assistant coach at Boston University while Brett Brown played there.
Brown’s seasons as director of player development in San Antonio would be a huge benefit for a youthful Sixers squad. While they have huge upsides, rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Noel also have huge bust potential. So the next coach must be a good developer of talent.
Brown had a hand in the development of NBA all-star point guard Tony Parker, whose scoring average went from 9.2 to 15.5 during the first season he worked with Brown.
Before the Spurs, he coached 14 seasons — nine as a head coach — in the Australia National Basketball League. Brown also coached the Aussies’ national team to a seventh-place finish in the 2012 London Olympics.
Distributed by MCT Information Services