Spotlight | Coach of the Month Winner Brown Appreciative of Journey
Over the course of Brett Brown’s tenure with the 76ers, a handful of his promising, young prospects have reaped the rewards of his passion and prowess for player development and teaching.
Multiple weekly and monthly conference player of the month awards, a Rookie of the Year trophy, and an All-Star starter selection are among the heady individual superlatives achieved by players who have been in Brown’s stead.
Finally, the man himself is getting some worthy notoriety.
Having guided the Sixers to a historic finish to the 2017-2018 campaign, Brown was tabbed Thursday as Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March and April.
During that period, the Sixers’ highlights were numerous, and included:
• An NBA-best 20-3 record.
• A franchise record 16-game winning streak.
• A league-record 16-game season-ending winning streak.
• The league’s second-best net rating of 12.8.
• The team’s first playoff berth since 2012.
Of the many lasting impressions from the Sixers’ breakthrough season, which saw them make a record 24-win improvement, the greatest of all was arguably that Brown’s original blueprint for turning the Sixers into a winner came to fruition, essentially to a T.
Upon his hiring in August of 2013, Brown envisioned coaching a club that played with pace, locked down on defense, passed the heck out of the ball, embraced the 3-point line, and embodied Philadelphia’s gritty, hard-working spirit.
Such a team is exactly what the Sixers have become.
In addition to sticking to his tactical points of emphasis the past five seasons, Brown has poured careful, meticulous thought into planting the seeds for and nurturing a culture that he hopes will last through the ages. He’s placed a premium on relationship-building, and, as a result, has always seemed to get the best out of his players.
Not lost on Brown is the support and patience he’s received along the way. The 56-year old Maine native views himself as a “real time example” of the good that can come from team management giving a coach a chance.
“I give my owners, led by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, a lot of credit,” a grateful Brown said Thursday, on the eve of the Sixers’ first practice of the post-season. “They let me stay here, and continue to build a program the way I thought a program and culture should be built. I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted, and I’ve been allowed to do it.”
In recent weeks, as the Sixers tore through the final games of their regular season schedule, the chatter surrounding Brown as a Coach of the Year candidate has grown louder, and all the more legitimate.
His locker room has his back.
"I think he should be Coach of the Year, Ben should be the Rookie of the Year... and I should be Defensive Player of the Year."
— x - Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 12, 2018
Ben Simmons also believes Brown should be considered for Coach of the Year.
“For sure, of course, no doubt,” the point man said Wednesday, following the Sixers’ win over Milwaukee. “People know he’s a great coach.”
Not that it probably matters much to Brown, but he now has a little bit of hardware to go along with his already stellar reputation.