Philadelphia 76ers: Ring that Bell, Brotha

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Let’s take a look back at the timeline of Brett Brown’s career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

First things first, this is not going to be a smear campaign on Brett Brown’s tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers – if you’re interested in reading something like that, then please stop here.

Let’s start from the beginning.

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On August 15th, 2013, during his introductory press conference, Brett Brown sat next to Sam Hinkie and uttered the following words: “Can you imagine if we get this right? Really. If we can get this right, with the culture and the history that this city has, and the pride and the toughness that this city has, that is very alluring. It’s tempting.”

He adopted a roster that involved some of the following names: Lavoy Allen, Michael Carter-Williams, Spencer Hawes, James Anderson, and Thaddeus Young, and the Sixers finished Brett’s first season 19-63.

The next season, the 76ers draft their key piece for the coming future: Joel Embiid. As Embiid stayed sidelined until 2016, the Sixers continued to make moves. The 76ers traded Lavoy Allen and Evan Turner to the Indiana Pacers in return for Danny Granger – only to be bought out by the team and sent to waivers. Three months later, the Thaddeus Young-era came to a close in Philadelphia, and he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a three-team deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers – the Sixers received Timberwolve’s Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and the Miami Heat’s first-round draft pick in 2015.  They finished the season 18-64.

During the 2015-2016 season, SamHinkie stepped down from his position with the 76ers, and Bryan Colangelo was hired as the new Sixer’s GM and ultimately inheriting The Process. The roster consisted of current GM Elton Brand, Kendall Marshall, Nerlens Noel, JaKarr Sampson, and more. The team finished with an abysmal 10-72 record.

On June 23, 2016, the 6-foot-10 Point Guard from LSU was drafted. Hopes and expectations were high in Philadelphia, but unfortunately, Sixers fans were unable to watch Ben Simmons make his debut as he was sidelined for the year due to injury. Staying within the same season, on October 26, Joel Embiid made his long-awaited season debut. He shined – but The Process wasn’t complete…The Sixers record improved, but they still finished 14th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 28-54.

In comes the trade for first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft – Bryan Colangelo acquired the top overall pick from the Boston Celtics by swapping the number three and one protected future first-round pick.

… Let’s admit it – the Markelle Fultz trade did not favor the Sixers – but the team did improve to 52-30 for the 2017-2018 season.

Jump ahead, and a host of moves happened in a matter of two years that altered the Sixers; the firing of Bryan Colangelo, the hiring of Elton Brand, the Jimmy Butler trade, Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors, and the contracts for Tobias Harris and Al Horford.

It’s been seven years and depending on how you view it, it may have been a long-road or maybe you’d be willing to do it all over again. But we’ve reached the point (as fans) that a flood of anger storms over us after every loss, and it’s become more apparent in the current season. It’s common – use the head coach of any professional sports team as the ‘scapegoat’ or in this case Brett Brown. Criticisms of some of his moves are valid, but as Doris Burke said during today’s Game 4 against the Celtics, “I think you need to take a look at the organization from the top down.”

Unfortunately, the Sixers were swept by Boston Celtics in the first-round series of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and it’s inevitable that Brown will be fired – but in his tenure with this team, look at what he’s done. He got the franchise through the lowest, and worst year(s), or maybe the largest tanking process in professional sports. He embraced The Process. He embraced this team. And he embraced the culture of this city. As stated earlier, it’s easy to use him as the ‘scapegoat’, but if you look back at the timeline it’s hard to imagine any other coach getting us this far. Most would have quit – but Brett stayed for 7 years, and for that, all I can is – Thank You.

The video below, courtesy of NBC Sports Philadelphia, looks back at 2018, when the Sixers beat the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and securing Brown’s first playoff series win. The Sixers doused their head coach in chocolate milk and water, as Brown rested his head on Embiid’s chest. It was a beautiful moment, and it was a prophecy being fulfilled. It was proof The Process worked and could work for years to come.

Next. The Exorcism of Brett William Brown. dark

At the end of the day, whether you’re pro-Brett Brown or anti-Brett Brown, it’s been one hell of a ride. But every journey comes to an end, so Brett, I (and maybe a handful of Sixers fans) wish you the best of luck in your next endeavor. Thanks for sticking with us, and although we didn’t get to party on Broad St, here’s to you: Ring that Bell one last time, brotha.