LOS ANGELES — Brett Brown will retain his job as chief coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, team owner Josh Harris told ESPN late Monday night.
Speculation about Brown’s future emerged in the immediate aftermath of the 76ers’ Game 7 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
The team called a press conference for Tuesday morning.
Brown, rumored to be on the hot seat if the 76ers didn’t advance to the conference finals, invited reporters after the game to address general manager Elton Brand and team ownership about anything “internal,” including his standing with the organization. “If you just follow our time in Philadelphia — we win 10 games, we’ve been through a handful of general managers, ping pong balls, different draft picks,” Brown said. “Now you fast forward, we’ve gone back-to-back 50-(win) seasons. Not too many people in this room gave us a chance against Toronto. There’s lots to be proud of.”
Shooting forward Tobias Harris was noncommittal in April when asked about Brown’s hold on the job, sparking conjecture the franchise was ready to move in another direction.
Center Joel Embiid said Monday that firing Brown would be a “bull***t” move.
“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s been there through everything,” Embiid said. “This year I think he grew even more as a coach. … At the end of the day, it comes down to the players. I don’t think he should have anything to worry about. He’s an amazing coach, a better person. If there was someone to blame, I mean, put it all on me.”
In six seasons under Brown, the 76ers are 178-314. But after failing to win even 20 games in each of Brown’s first three seasons, the 76ers have surpassed 50 wins in each of the last two. They advanced to the second round in each of the last two postseasons.
Point guard Ben Simmons said the 76ers have every reason to believe they’ll be back — and ready to take the next step next season.
“We can compete with the best,” Simmons said Sunday.
While Brown’s situation appears to be resolved, the future of swingman Jimmy Butler remains uncertain. Butler is a pending free agent, making it unclear if he will be around for the next phase of the “process” in Philadelphia.
“I’m not worried about that right now,” Butler said postgame Sunday. “I don’t want to talk about anything besides basketball.” — Reuters