The Philadelphia 76ers’ tanking plan is quite obvious and well known. They have assembled a team of virtual unknowns to win as few games as possible in hopes of landing the no. 1 draft pick in 2015.
For former Sixers coach Larry Brown, who coached the Sixers’ run to the championship in 2001, it’s a totally unacceptable plan.
I hate what’s going on in Philly. They don’t have a basketball person in the organisation. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
“No, I wouldn’t do it. We wouldn’t lose. Brett [Brown] can coach, he’s one of Pop’s [Gregg Popovich] guys. But what they are doing to that city to me is mind-boggling. That’s the greatest basketball city in the world with its fans and you want them to sit back and watch you lose.
“Can you imagine telling Allen Iverson that this is a rebuilding season so we’re going to be bad on purpose?”
The Sixers are actually well positioned for the future. Michael Carter-Williams was last year’s Rookie of the Year, and forward Nerlens Noel is making his NBA debut this season and has promise. They also drafted the highly touted Joel Embiid with the no. 3 pick; however, he’ll likely sit the year out with stress fracture in his right foot.
“I love [Nerlens] Noel, I love Joel [Embiid]. But you can’t put that stuff into them. Again, it boggles my mind. I understand you have to get assets to get better. You get assets by developing young players, draft picks, and moving contracts. But how much teaching is going on?”
The 76ers might struggle to win 10 games this season, and despite the wise strategy to aim for a top draft pick, the team’s tanking initiative has maybe gone too far.
Brown himself finished his NBA coaching career on the sidelines for some unintentionally bad teams, so he knows the toll of losing. He coached a disastrous 23-59 campaign with the Knicks in 2005-06. After bringing the Charlotte Bobcats to their first playoff appearance in 2009-10, he left the team after a 9-19 beginning to the 2010-11 season. He is currently coaching the Southern Methodist University Mustangs basketball team.
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