Brett Brown: Future with 76ers Not Weighing on Me Amid 3-0 Deficit vs. Celtics

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' head coach Brett Brown, right, talks with Norvel Pelle during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown said he's not focused on his job status with the team trailing the Boston Celtics 3-0 in its first-round playoff series after a 102-94 loss Friday night.

"My job is to focus on what I really can do. My players deserve that," Brown told reporters. "I've been in the city seven years. Tonight's loss is what's most on my mind."

The Sixers took a 94-92 lead with 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter Friday after a pair of made free throws by star center Joel Embiid. The Celtics responded with a 10-0 run to end the game to push Philly to the brink of elimination.

Brown showed his frustration while walking out of the arena:

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

Brett Brown lets his frustrations out on a chair going to locker room down 0-3 #Sixers https://t.co/a6N6fqz7Zd

"I don't [think about the future]—I really don't," he said.

Blame for the Sixers' struggles can't be placed solely on Brown's shoulders. The team lost point guard Ben Simmons to knee surgery shortly before the postseason got underway, shifting a competitive matchup against the Celtics heavily into Boston's favor. The results have matched that expectation.

That said, Philadelphia was projected to emerge as a legitimate championship contender after going through an extended rebuilding process that included the first four years of Brown's tenure, which began in August 2013.

The 76ers have qualified for the playoffs each of the last three seasons, but they failed to advance beyond the second round the past two years and are now on the verge of a first-round exit.

Barring a miracle turnaround, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Sixers move in a new direction at head coach as part of an offseason that will likely also feature renewed discussion about whether the tandem of Embiid and Simmons is a foundation capable of winning a championship.

Philadelphia will attempt to stave off elimination against the Celtics on Sunday. Tip off is set for 1 p.m. ET on ABC.