SMU head coach Larry Brown is currently serving a nine-game suspension from the NCAA. While he awaits his return to the sideline, he's been watching one of his former teams, the Philadelphia 76ers, continue to struggle and wishes he could help.
Jon Marks of Sheridan Hoops passed along comments Monday from the legendary 75-year-old coach. He's confident he could turn the situation around quickly and believes former Sixers superstar Allen Iverson could be one of the keys:
I'm sick of what's going on there. You know I care about the Sixers. It's an unbelievable basketball city and I had a great experience there. I don't want to get on them when they're struggling, but they don't have any veteran leadership. I want to help. I could straighten it out in five minutes. I wish they'd get Allen involved. All those young kids worship him.
Philadelphia currently sports a 1-25 record after going a dreadful 37-127 over the previous two seasons. The organization recently hired USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo with the hope he could provide some veteran guidance to finally start seeing some results from the rebuild.
There hasn't been a complete overhaul despite the extended stint at the bottom of the NBA, though. Head coach Brett Brown recently signed a contract extension despite a 38-152 (.200) record since taking over ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.
Brown previously admitted to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com that the entire situation hasn't gone as quickly or as smoothly as he hoped: "I do feel the enormity of it from time to time. I wouldn't be telling you the truth if I said that I had thought in Year 3, this was the group I'd be coaching. I didn't realize the roster would play out like it has—that last year would be almost a redshirt year, with Joel Embiid and Dario [Saric]."
The Sixers are also looking to bring in some other voices to potentially help expedite a retooling project that's been stuck in neutral for far too long.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported on Dec. 12 that Mike D'Antoni was being considered as a possible associate head coach. David Aldridge of NBA.com added on Monday that former players, such as Elton Brand and Shane Battier, had been contacted about possible mentor roles for the young roster.
Iverson wasn't mentioned, but it's an interesting idea. Although his "practice" rant lives on, Brown is right that the former All-Star guard's opinion would likely carry a lot of weight with players that grew up watching him play. He could be nice fit in that mentor role having learned from his own experiences.
Brown is the only coach to have both an NCAA tournament title and an NBA championship on his resume. But it's going to take a lot longer than five minutes to get things turned around in Philadelphia, in large part because the lack of impact from early draft picks.
The Sixers need Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel to eventually handle the roles they were acquired to fill in order to get things back on track.