Philadelphia 76ers: Brett Brown has been vindicated by Round 1 win

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

After years, and years of losing, the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 series victory over the Miami Heat has vindicated Brett Brown.

If there’s one person who deserves credit for the Philadelphia 76ers‘ 104-91 victory over the Miami Heat that vaulted the team to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2012 it has to be head coach Brett Brown.

But that’s ok, he’s used to not receiving his just dues.

After inheriting a roster that made the playoffs in four of the five previous seasons, Brown was welcomed to Philly by having his roster swiftly gutted of talented players like Jrue Holiday, Thad Young, Lou Williams, Nikola Vucevic, and Andre Iguodala for the likes of Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson, Dewayne Dedmon, and yet somehow, the team remained strangely competitive despite their lack of talent.

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For a while there, over the early years of what would go on to be affectionately known as The Process, it seemed like anytime the Sixers pulled off a few wins in a row, a player like K.J. McDaniels or Ish Smith would be shipped out of town to quell their run, often times for some far off second-round pick that seemed light years away.

Yet for whatever reason, Philly fans never seemed to turn on their Coach.

While dozens of other coaches have been chased out of town with far better winning percentages, it seemed as though the entire City of Brotherly Love rallied around the Sixers head coach as if he were their own, and fully committed to the long game in the hopes of building a Spurs-esque dynasty of their own.

And in his fifth year with the team, it looks like our blind faith has finally paid off.

Gone are the days of $5 StubHub tickets and half-empty stadiums, and in their place, we now have a season ticket waitlist, a city tattooed with banners promoting the team, and $100 standing room only tickets for the team’s playoff games, and through it all, one thing remains; Brett Brown.

While some will point to the insertion of top-tier talents like Joel Embiid, J.J. Redick, and Ben Simmons as to why the 76ers have blossomed from a 10 win team in 2015 to a 52 win team in 2017, the real credit has to be given to Brown, and boy does he earn it.

Without Brown, who has established himself as arguably the best cultivator of talent in the entire NBA, the 76ers wouldn’t have now essential players like Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell, as he seemingly transformed the duo from a pair of longshot, undrafted free agents into quality rotational pieces.

And don’t even get me started on Embiid and Simmons.

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After missing the first two seasons of his NBA career due to an injury, Brown became almost a like second father figure to the young Cameroonian center, as he struggled through the hurdles of his then questionable career almost 6,000 miles away from home. When news broke that Brown personally consoled Embiid after the death of his younger brother back in 2014 it essentially cemented Brown as a saint of a man and is likely the main reason why he’s so passionate about Philly sports now that he’s developed into a legitimate superstar.

And while that’s surely impressive, the true crown jewel of the Sixers rebuild has to be Ben Simmons’ transformation.

Though Simmons mostly played point forward in college at LSU, almost no one believed that he could transition into a full-time point guard in the NBA, but apparently, no one told that to Coach Brown. With a redshirt year to learn off the court following a training camp leg injury, Brown taught his young ward the intricacies of the one spot, and has it clearly worked, as Simmons is on his way to a Rookie of the Year award for a stellar 2017-2018 campaign, and he’s doing so as a 6-foot-10 point guard.

Next: 3 takeaways from the Philadelphia 76ers win over Miami Heat

Simply put, when Brown accepted his current position with the Sixers, he was gifted with a squad absolutely devoid of talent, but even through 10-win seasons he never lost hope. And now, a few short years later, we’re all reaping the benefits together as the Philadelphia 76ers are on their way to round two NBA playoffs. So ring that bell Brett Brown, you deserve it.