The Philadelphia 76ers search for a head coach has finally concluded, with San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown reportedly accepting the job.
Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated tweeted out news of the hiring Monday morning:
Brett Brown has been hired as coach of 76ers says league source. 4 yrs guaranteed. Story up on http://t.co/XH8uCfQTFG soon.— Ian Thomsen (@SI_IanThomsen) August 12, 2013
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, there were rumors that Brown was urged by his colleagues not to accept the position due to the tough position he would be placed in.
Word in coaching circles is some Brett Brown associates urging him not to take Philly job in part because Year 1 is guaranteed 60+ losses— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 9, 2013
The 76ers blew up their roster on the night of the 2013 draft, trading away All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to rebuild around lottery picks Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams.
Predictions of 60-plus losses may not be far off, as the young and inexperienced roster must adapt to life in the Association, new teammates and a first-time head coach.
Brown has his work cut out for him—but he may just be the right man for the job.
Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie began the search to replace Doug Collins—who resigned following the 2012-13 campaign—nearly four months ago, but he didn’t rush to make a rash decision.
The Philadelphia gig was the last vacant head-coaching opportunity in the league, and Hinkie ensured that no stone was left unturned.
Four assistants from around the league—including Brown—were brought in for a second round of interviews last week, with plenty of other candidates also garnering various levels of consideration.
Brown reportedly beat out Kenny Atkinson of the Atlanta Hawks, Adrian Griffin of the Chicago Bulls, Jay Larranaga of the Boston Celtics, David Vanterpool of the Portland Trail Blazers and 76ers holdover Michael Curry for the job.
The longtime assistant began his career with the Spurs back in 2002 and went on to win three titles during his tenure with the organization—just missing out on a fourth in the spring of 2013.
With a background in player development, Brown will be tasked with getting the most out of a young group of talent that will only get younger from two more potential lottery picks in 2014.
It’s a long road back to respectability in the City of Brotherly Love, so Brown will need patience and support from Hinkie and the rest of the team brass.
Whether Brown is the right man for the job remains to be seen, but he’s clearly been impressive in interviews, and his body of work with the Spurs speaks for itself.