Brett Brown knew on his first day that he needed to be committed for the long haul. Unlike his experience with San Antonio, the Sixers are in need of a culture shift and Brown realizes this.
In his time with the Spurs, he watched the team win four NBA titles – he was a member of the team’s basketball operations department during the 1998-99 season. He’s also coached in the Olympics and World championships, making his desire to win that much stronger.
Brown knows what kind of culture he wants to establish with his team. And while most of the players on the current roster probably won’t be here when he finally gets it right, they are the ones to experience Brown’s seismic shift.
With the Sixers finding themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 15-36 record, it would be easy to think that Brown is regretting his move to Philadelphia.
But the organization has a plan for the future, and Brown is perfectly fine in playing his role to say he was there from Day One.
“I actually deal with it fine because I see the end game,” Brown said of dealing with the team’s record. “In my heart of hearts, I believe in what the owner’s vision is, I believe that Sam (Hinkie) has the intellect and vision to deliver what the owners have committed to this city and I feel comfortable that once we get going and we can implement a system and a culture … we’re going to see results and rewards.”
While Brown has displayed great patience with one of the worst defensive teams in the league, do not mistake his patience for any form of reticence. He is not at all happy with the team’s inability to get back in transition nor its failure to defend one of the NBA’s offensive staples, the pick and roll.
Offensively, Brown has made it clear his philosophy centers on running. One might assume this will govern an overall philosophy as it relates to future player acquisition and development. Running obviously requires a top level of fitness, which is something Brown has insisted his players attain since he got the job last August. Brown’s fitness expectation is the primary reason why second-year big man Arnett Moultrie has not seen a single NBA minute after recovering from ankle surgery.
Another important part of Brown’s cultural shift will be to have players who fit a certain personality type. That is, the time-worn desire to have players who will subjugate their own egos for the good of the team.
Knowing that Brown and general manager Sam Hinkie have a plan should help you get through the last 30 games of this season.
“I always get nervous that it’s not going to happen in the time frame that all of us want, it’s a long process. At time’s … you feel like you don’t really want to go through it, but I love what I do. I really like coaching these guys.”
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