Thursday, December 19, 2013
From staff and news services
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers finally got their man.
Brett Brown, then the head basketball coach for Australia, gestures during the World Basketball Championship in 2010. Brown, 52, will become the 76ers eighth coach since Larry Brown stepped down after the 2002-03 season.
The Associated Press
In this September 2010 photo, Brett Brown, then-head coach of the Australian team, shouts instructions during the World Basketball Championship against Slovenia in Istanbul, Turkey.
BRETT BROWN FILE
1979 – Led South Portland to 29-0 season and Class A state title
1981 – Named MVP of Boston University basketball team
1983 – Led Terriers to first NCAA tournament appearance since 1959
1987 – Backpacked around the South Pacific, met future wife, settled in Australia, found coaching job
1993 – Hired as head coach of the Melbourne Giants of the National Basketball League
1994 – Named Coach of the Year after leading Melbourne to NBL title
1996 – Assistant coach for Australia in Atlanta Olympics
1998 – Volunteer assistant with San Antonio Spurs
2000 – Assistant coach for Australia in Sydney Olympics
2002 – Rejoined Spurs as director of player development
2006 – Promoted to Spurs bench coach
2009 – Named head coach of Australian National Team
2012 – Coached Australia in London Olympics
2013 – Hired as head coach of Philadelphia 76ers.
Brett Brown, a South Portland native, accepted the team's head coaching offer Monday, according to several league sources. Brown, a former San Antonio Spurs assistant, will receive a four-year, guaranteed contract.
The sources asked to remain anonymous because the hire had not been officially announced. The Sixers are expected to introduce Brown in a news conference in the coming days.
Brown, 52, will replace Doug Collins, who resigned April 18, and will become the team's eighth coach since Larry Brown stepped down after the 2002-03 season.
"I think it's good for the organization," Sixers swingman Evan Turner said of Brown's hiring. "I really don't know much about him but I think he will be good for young guys and the future."
That's what the Sixers are banking on.
They finished a disappointing 34-48 last season and several players have moved on.
Some of the more notable departures are point guard Jrue Holiday (Memphis) via a trade, and swingman Dorrell Wright (Portland), swingman Nick Young (Los Angeles Lakers) and center Andrew Bynum (Cleveland) in free agency. Bynum, who has chronically injured knees, never played for the Sixers after being acquired in a four-team trade last August.
Brown must rebuild with a team that will have two rookies, center Nerlens Noel and point guard Michael Carter-Williams, as the faces of the franchise.
But as a renowned skill-development coach, he's been coveted by the Sixers for some time.
Brown, while playing for his father, Bob Brown, a legendary Maine high school coach, was the point guard as undefeated South Portland won the Class A championship in 1979.
He went on to play for Boston University under Rick Pitino, leading the Terriers to the NCAA tournament in 1983 for the first time since 1959.
Brown held an unofficial post with the Spurs during their NBA championship season in 1998-99. He rejoined Coach Gregg Popovich's San Antonio staff in July 2002 as an assistant coach/director of player development. Brown moved to the bench as an assistant coach before the 2006-07 season.
As the Spurs' player development coach, he was credited with refining and improving specific aspects of players' games during individual workouts. Brown worked with Hedo Turkoglu on 3-point shooting, Bruce Bowen on his pull-up jumper, and Rasho Nesterovic on his defensive spacing and rebounding.
Brown also had a hand in the development of point guard Tony Parker, whose scoring average went from 9.2 to 15.5 points per game in the first season he worked with him.
Popovich once said Brown was brilliant at working out players, no matter what the focus was.
Brown also coached for 14 seasons, nine as a head coach, in the Australia National Basketball League. He coached the Aussies' national team to a seventh-place finish in the 2012 London Olympics.
He was in line to replace the departed Mike Budenholzer as San Antonio's lead assistant before accepting the coaching job with Philadelphia. Budenholzer was hired as Atlanta's head coach in May.
Among the candidates for the Sixers job were assistant Michael Curry, a holdover from Collins' staff; Boston assistant Jay Larranaga; Atlanta assistant Kenny Atkinson; and Chicago assistant Adrian Griffin.
Curry is under contract for another season with the Sixers along with assistant coaches Aaron McKie and Jeff Capel.
click image to enlarge
In this March 6, 2013, photo, San Antonio Spurs' assistant coach Brett Brown, right, sits with injured Spurs player Tony Parker during an NBA game.