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Report: Brett Brown being urged not to take Sixers’ head coaching job

Aug 10, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Brett Brown Spurs AP

The Philadelphia 76ers took a long, convoluted route to finding the man they wanted to replace former head coach Doug Collins. The man they selected might not take the job however, as ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown is being urged to pass on the Sixers’ offer.

Turning down a head coaching job would be a big decision for an assistant that wasn’t even the top guy on his own staff — that honor goes to new Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer — but it could pay off for him in the long run.

The Sixers aren’t expected to be competitive in their first season under new general manager Sam Hinkie and are widely considered the favorites for a top pick in next year’s loaded NBA Draft. If Brown endures a sixty-loss season, the first-year head coach would be starting his stateside career in quite the hole and without much to add to his resume if he’s canned for a higher-profile coach next season. That could put Brown in the company of a guy like Mike Dunlap, who coached an already bad Charlotte Bobcats team to a 21-61 record last season before being replaced after just one year on the job. Kevin O’Neill, Sam Vincent, Quinn Buckner, Jeff Bower, Johnny McCarthy, John Wetzel, Leonard Hamilton and fellow candidate Michael Curry were also canned after their first season as an NBA head coach — and none of them have been able to get another head job since.

If the Sixers aren’t going to give Brown enough money and job security to prove that they want him for the long haul — and not just as a cheap Band-Aid while they rebuild their roster — it likely isn’t going to be worth his time when considering he should have more opportunities next summer. Because, if Philadelphia decides they don’t want to commit to a long-term deal with Brown this season, what’s stopping the Australian national team coach (he coached in the Australian league for years before coming to the Spurs) from waiting and applying for the job next summer … when the team’s prospects are better and he’s got a year of top experience under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio?

It’s an interesting spot for both sides: the Sixers don’t necessarily want to win this year and likely aren’t interested in committing too much to a head coach that they want to lose in his first season. But, if they really think a guy like Brown is their coach of the future, they’ll have to open their pocketbooks to make sure the risk of starting off really bad doesn’t scare him away.

  1. tcclark - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    They wouldn’t have spent 4 months looking for a bandaid. This is a guy with player development experience. they want him to grow with the team.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I think they absolutely would spend 4 months looking for a bandaid. If Philadelphia was series about hiring a good head coach they would have gone after some of the top coaching candidates. Now they’re skimming the bottom, looking for a guy they can easily forget after they fire him next summer.

      • tcclark - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        You know who they could easily hire and not even have to fire him next summer because his contract is up? Michael Curry. He’s essentially been their head coach all summer, coached the summer league team, has head coaching experience, and would be gone at the end of the year anyway. You don’t spend four months looking for a coach, interview everyone known to man, go through a second round of interviews, and then hire someone who isn’t already under contract, if you’re just planning to fire him at the end of the year. Throughout this whole process, they’ve said they want to hire someone who can grow with the team. Brian Shaw wasn’t going to Philly nor was Lionel Collins. They were looking for a good assistant who specializes in player development. That’s Brett Brown. They know they aren’t going to be good this year. They don’t want to be good this year. There are very few reasons they would WANT to fire him at the end of the year.

      • tfoz5150 - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        They’ve been linked to him since the beginning of their search. I do feel though they want to tank this year, so he would have to be onboard with that.

    • antistratfordian - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      I believe the Sixers are doing everything in their power to tank this year. They’re off to a great start.

  2. shanelsweet - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Must be nice to have the media helping to negotiate your contract. Now Philly has to offer him a multi-year guarantee or risk having to sell a “cheap band-aid” coaching hire to their fans and players. Nobody wants to watch a band-aid or be managed by one.

  3. mophatici - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    “That could Brown in the company of a guy like Mike Dunlap”
    What? Is Dunlap a toaster oven now?

  4. abchome - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Just hire Allen Iverson and get a guaranteed mission completion.

  5. pxeeks - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    It’s an NBA head coaching gig.. Right?!!? What’s the trouble? Still getting millions. Top of Mount Rushmore in coaching position. No brainer

  6. onlyavoice - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    LOL, The Sixers Want To Tank It This Season.
    It’s A Lottery Team, What Choice Do They Have Except To
    Go To The Lottery.

  7. pukpokito - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    hire a temp for a year.Then have an agreement internally with this coach that they’ll hire him next year or however you want to arrange it with him. I would go for Lionel Hollins next summer too if this does not work out.

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