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New head coach Brett Brown assures Evan Turner that Sixers won’t be trying to lose on purpose

Aug 17, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

It has to be discouraging to players already in place on a team’s roster to see it essentially gutted and left with mostly rookies and minimum salary players in advance of the upcoming season.

That’s what Sixers guard Evan Turner is going through this summer.

After starting all 82 games for Philadelphia last year alongside All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, Turner has seen his backcourt mate traded and his head coach replaced, without anything close to tangible improvement being made anywhere else on the roster.

The Sixers are projected to be near the bottom of the league-wide standings next year, and Turner, entering his fourth NBA season with the club, is rightfully concerned about his future role and what direction the team may be headed.

New head coach Brett Brown tried to assure Turner that winning is indeed the priority, despite such a rocky offseason.

From Tom Moore of (via HoopsHype):

During an interview at his Evan Turner Basketball ProCamp on Saturday at New Hope-Solebury High School, Turner said he doesn’t subscribe to that point of view. And, based on his Friday night telephone conversation with new coach Brett Brown, Brown doesn’t, either.

“I told him, ‘Everybody wants to be in tank mode and thinks we’re going to lose. I intend on trying to win as much as possible because losing’s too easy,’ ” Turner said. “He said, ‘Well, they got the wrong coach if we’re going to go out and lose on purpose. We want to compete and get better.’ ”

One thing that’s important to note anytime the subject of tanking comes up is that if teams decide to go into a rebuilding mode — which will inevitably result in plenty of losses that will translate into a potentially high draft pick — that decision is one that’s made at the organizational level.

Players and coaches simply are not wired to play at half speed or attempt strategies which would result in losing games on purpose.

What can happen, though, is the front office instructing the head coach to give younger players who need to develop more minutes than the ones who are clearly the team’s best.

Not playing the players who will give the team its best chance to win is tanking by its very definition, and while Brown can assure Turner he’s trying to compete, he may be forced by management to do so at some point without his most talented guys.

  1. dezglobal - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    “No man… No it won’t be on purpose…. But hey, if it happens it happens you know?”

  2. legend30 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Honestly, it doesn’t matter if they try this year. Thaddeus Young is one of the most underrated players in the league, however, they simply don’t have enough talent to compete this year. 76ers have been mediocre for several years. Sam Hinkie understands that and is trying to build his team like OKC. Staying patient and I’m sure 76ers will become a serious threat in the near future.

  3. biasedhomer - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Even if they gave it their all, this team would still be one of the worst in the league.

  4. kb2408 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    How did Philly get in such a mess?! This time a year ago they looked like they could possibly do some damage in the playoffs. I would be very frustrated if I were a 76’ers fan.

    • legend30 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      It started when they decided to trade Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum.

      • dondada10 - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        Spending cap space on Elton Brand wasn’t the wisest move, either.

    • kinggw - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      The Sixers simply had bad luck last year. Bynum not taking the court essentially ruined their season. There was a lot of promise in the offseason, but thats why they play the games. A year ago lots of people thought the Lakers were Finals bound and look at what happened to them.

      • rushbacker - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:13 AM

        Trading for Bynum was a bad decision, not bad luck.

    • jdeezy19 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Dude I just think you don’t understand how to win a championship in the NBA. Theres Limbo ball, theres the Championship Contenders, and theres the bobcats. You need superstars to become a contender these days and theres no better way to get get superstars then in the 2014 NBA draft which figures to be the best since the Lebron/Wade/Bosh Draft.

      As a sixers fan that has been a 7-8 seed for the last 5 years im done with it. Ill take my chances on MCW, Nerlens Noel, 2 Lottery picks next Year, and 3 2nd round picks next year OVER Jrue Holiday and Friends

    • somekat - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Because they FINALLY made the decision that being a mediocre team with no shot an winning anything was no longer good enough

      It’s how this terrible thing called a “league” works. If you are mediocre, it is near impossible to become good. You must become very bad to even have a shot by clearing cap space and getting high draft picks.

    • ryanrockzzz - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      Actually, most are quite happy. Most Sixers fans were growing tired of only having a boardeline 8 seed team that really had no chance of competing. Hopefully now ownership/management will put a better plan in place/more money into things this time around.

  5. tcclark - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    It’s sad when this title could have read “New Coach Brett Brown assures Star Player that Sixers won’t be Trying to Lose on Purpose.”

  6. twpguy1964 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    As a Sixers fan for 40 years, I have no doubt they will screw up getting the top pick somehow! They screwed up when taking Turner, Most smart basketball people knew he wasn’t a NBA star to e. Cousins was the pick IMO. Yes he’s had attitude problems but I take a guy that can actually be dominant compared to a shooting guard/small forward who cant shoot.

    • somekat - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      The sixers didn’t do too bad with Turner, it was a weak draft. Nobody wanted Cousins, he’s a 8 year old trapped in a mans body. The clown can’t make it in Sac without getting into trouble every other week, what chance do you think he would of had in Philly?

      “Most smart basketball people” looked at that draft and said “Wall is the only guy with star potential”. They got the 2 pick in the worst draft in memory, it happens

    • tcclark - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      There were reports of a Cousins for Thad Young trade where we actually moved up in the draft. Not that Thad is a bad player, but that doesn’t sound like a trade for a “dominant” player to me. Plus, if we were moving up in the draft, Sacramento deemed Thad to be the better player. I think Philly fans have overvalued Cousins for years. If you wanted to say Derrick Favors I might be inclined to agree with you, but Cousins is a head-case.

  7. wowwowbad - Aug 19, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    the Sixers better trade Turner when he’s still got some value. He’s neither a future all-star nor a block for building around. They already get younger, better trade him for some veterans who can guide MCW and Noel.

  8. mediocrebob - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Have the 6ers become a team who’s biggest/best name on the court is Evan Turner? Yikes…

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