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76ers hired a coach with a plan for handling a tanking team

Dec 27, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT

Brett Brown

Thaddeus Young reportedly requested a trade from the 76ers. Though he later denied it, that’s the type of thing veterans on tanking teams do.

Evan Turner has been featured prominently in trade reports. That’s another thing that happens with veterans on a tanking team.

Good luck coaching all that, especially if you’re a first-year coach, the type of cheap option tanking teams tend to prefer.

But 76ers coach Brett Brown sounds like he has a plan for handling those potential distractions. Brown, via Keith Pompey of The (Philadelphia) Inquirer:

“The [camaraderie], that staying together, is one of the hardest things to deal with when you are dealing with trade rumors, when you are dealing with rebuilding, when you are dealing with losing,” Brown said.

“You have a recipe that’s built for disaster if you don’t have character people that don’t understand the pitfalls of what could happen among that turmoil,” Brown said. “I talk about that all the time.

“It needs to be admitted and worked on.”

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I have to believe Brown having a plan for handling a tanking team – which is different than a plan for how to tank – helped persuade the 76ers to hire him.

Few bad teams have an identity as strong as Philadelphia does. Heck, plenty of winning teams don’t, either.

But since Sam Hinkie took over, the 76ers have looked toward the future, this season be darned. From management to the coach, Philadelphia has embraced this plan. It’s almost a full-franchise effort.

Almost, because the veteran players might not be on board. But Brown is working on that.

  1. adoombray - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    yeah, except half the rest of the EC is tanking too, and draft results based on a lottery not a fix slotting system, tanking is silly. the problem with the mindset that nobody wants to be an 8th seed, is that there still needs to be 8 seeds, and people buy tickets to see teams try to win.

    This is why most first round series are un watchable and why teams like Charlotte have been “tanking” for years with no success. There is a fundamental problem with playing to not win the game that nobody seems to care about anymore too, but even with that completely ignored tanking makes no sense.

    • thephillyflyer - Dec 28, 2013 at 5:50 AM

      The KHL over in Russia has a “loser’s tournament” for their #1 pick. Teams that don’t make the playoffs play in a knockout series, with the winner getting the 1st pick. Not sure how the details fall for elimination but it would certainly provide incentive for a bad team to play “well” instead of tanking for lottery chances.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM


  2. tcclark - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    The Sixers have put themselves in a great position. With the young talent the have (and will have after this years draft) and the level of competition in the East, they could end up with a top 4 seed in the east next year.

    If the Sixers get a top three pick and a pick around 8-10 from the Pelicans they could easily have a lineup that features MCW, Wiggins/Parker, a guy like Aaron Gordon out of Zona and Nerlens Noel. Not to mention a guy like Tony Wroten coming off the bench and a good coach in Brett Brown. Add that to the buttload of cap space they have and they could be scary in the coming years.

  3. mungman69 - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    You start losing on propose and you can never figure out how to win. Ask Charlotte.

  4. bealwithit - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Not even a Sixers fan, but I can’t watch that team and be convinced that they are tanking.

  5. 1historian - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    There is ALL the difference between tanking on purpose – filly – and having a really young team with a young coach that wants to win but will have to learn on the run – the Celts.

    That will become more and more apparent as the season goes on and next year and the year after that.

    • tcclark - Dec 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      Philly has a really young team with a young (in terms of head coaching experience) coach that wants to win too. They’re just not good enough to do it. The guys play hard every night and they play until the end. They’re 4-1 in overtime. Overtime would be a perfect place for a team losing on purpose to role over. You gave the fans a show but you still got the result you wanted. That’s not this team. They play really hard and they never give up. Brett Brown has created a culture of playing hard, which is the second best culture you can have outside of a “winning culture.”

      Watch some Sixers games. As bealwithit said, you can’t watch this team and say that they’re tanking. Sam Hinkie’s tanking, not the players or the coach.

  6. espfdps - Dec 27, 2013 at 9:01 PM


    • 1historian - Dec 28, 2013 at 9:05 AM


  7. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    One of the only coaches who has the green light to lose.

    Gotta love that job security.

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