Former 76ers HC Brett Brown Resigns as Australian National Team Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown watches play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Brett Brown has resigned from his post as head coach of the Australian men's national basketball team. 

Basketball Australia shared a statement from Brown:

"Whilst I have a deep and long-standing passion for Australian Basketball, I am currently unable to commit to coaching the Boomers at next year's Olympic Games. The uncertainties around the direction of my professional future unfortunately mean that I cannot commit to the time and preparation that this job deserves and requires. The difficulties around traveling internationally with my family during the pandemic have also contributed to my decision."

The Philadelphia 76ers fired Brown in August shortly after being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs.

Brown led the Boomers from 2010 to 2012. His reign culminated at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where the squad reached the quarterfinals, losing to the United States, who went on to claim gold.

The 59-year-old returned to the role in November 2019 for the purpose of coaching Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Beyond his previous national team experience, Brown was a natural fit on a short-term basis thanks to his relationship with Sixers star Ben Simmons.

However, those plans were thrown into disarray after the International Olympic Committee postponed the Summer Games until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Considering the upcoming NBA season may not start until January or later, it will likely overlap with the Olympics next July and August. That jeopardizes the availability for NBA coaches and players.

The WNBA regularly puts its season on hold to accommodate the Olympics, but that may not be an option for the NBA when it will have already delayed its start by months.

As a result, continuing to coach Australia may have been untenable for Brown in the event he's looking to land another NBA gig.