I realize this isn’t the time to call for anyone’s job given the status of the season, but the writing is on the wall, and has been for some time now—Brett Brown needs to be fired at the conclusion of the 2020 playoffs in Disney, Finals be damned.
Brett has spent the past half-decade masquerading as competent in a job that he’s wholly under-qualified and unequipped for. Forget his ability to mime the look of a basketball coach, his ability to look people in the eye, spit platitudes at them, and restate the obvious in a fashion that makes it seem as if he’s being insightful is effortless. Yet, his feckless media audiences still walk away as if he didn’t just spend two minutes saying absolutely nothing. If your eyes don’t instinctively roll every time Brett opens his mouth then it’s an indictment on your intelligence—Brown might as well be mocking you.
Consider this recent quote from him to SI’s Chris Mannix on the status of Ben Simmons. “My opinion, and this is not confirmed yet, is that we are going to be able to inch him back into this… Is he going to be 100%? I don’t expect that. But I think he’s going to be available.”
First off, Simmons not being 100% by late July is an alarming statement considering it’s the first indication of such a possibility; and then Brett conveying that bombshell as if it’s a given is par for the course for this organization’s handling of injuries. Not only were we told in April that his back problems had “all but dissipated,” but just this past week social media was ablaze with pictures of a cut-up and seemingly healthy Simmons. I would call it pompous to come out now and say he might not be 100%, but I truly don’t believe Brett understands the folly of his behavior—making it more ‘disappointing’ than it is ‘condescending.’
Second, Brett asking himself a question about Simmons’ medical status and unironically responding as if the team’s word on player health is credible is priceless. But by god, it’s these sort of circuitous, empty statements that have become a hallmark of Brown’s feel-good shtick—an attitude befitting of a Walmart greeter, not a pro basketball coach.
I’d also like to take a moment and unpack the “In my opinion, and this is not confirmed yet…” preamble. Surely I don’t need to spell this out for the reader, but who the hell is Brett waiting on to “confirm” his “opinion.” What does that mean?!? (I mean, I know what he thinks it means). Is it possible that maybe he just says things to fill the air, instead of trying to offer insight?
This guy is clueless—if his “what-the-fuck-am-I-doing” stare in moments of the fourth quarter of NBA games doesn’t tip the scale for you, hopefully these sort of mind-numbing statements open your eyes to the depths of Brett’s ineptitude. In the past you could try to separate the organization’s mistakes from the head coach, but with Brown assuming such an influential role in the front office that’s no longer the case—he can’t hide behind Hinkie’s mystique or Colangelo’s idiocy, the organization’s blunders are his blunders, and boy are they starting to pile up.
I want to be very clear, the main reason that Brett Brown deserves to be fired isn’t his mind-numbing quotes or inept stewardship of logic, but rather because he’s failed to earn his basketball team a single on-court edge or advantage that can be traced back to him or a decision he made. That’s it. His complete inability to collate and manage information, and effectively communicate a coherent thought is simply the cherry on top for me.
He’s failed to help Ben-Embiid mesh offensively, and he’s failed to mesh two high IQ, strong passing/shooting big men in Horford-Embiid. I’m not sure how you can complain about either of those fits without mentioning the head coach, because you’re a fool if you think those players can’t work together under better guidance. To argue so would require a complete misunderstanding of the skillset that Simmons, Embiid, and Horford possess (high IQ, plus passing, excellent off-ball traits, etc…).
If you bite on Brett’s lovely soliloquies about hard work and high character and whatever pixie dust he’s sprinkling out his ass then I guess I can’t blame you, from the media perspective it’s better than having a sad-sack answering questions. But if you look at Brett’s actual coaching mettle and think he’s anything more than a cheerleader in a suit then that’s on you—he’s the Jason Garrett of the NBA. Any success he has in Disney World short of a “fo-fo-fo” sweep of the East and a Finals victory shouldn’t be able to save this guy’s job.