Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Larry Brown, who is serving a nine-game, NCAA-imposed suspension as the coach at Southern Methodist University, is still not thrilled about the Sixers’ rebuild. Last year, he said that he “hated” it and it made him “sick to my stomach,” and in June, he said that he wanted Allen Iverson to join the front office. Here’s the latest, via Sheridan Hoops’ Jon Marks:
“I’m sick of what’s going on there,” Brown said, who’s hopeful that old friend Jerry Colangelo will guide them in the right direction. “You know I care about the Sixers. It’s an unbelievable basketball city and I had a great experience there. I don’t want to get on them when they’re struggling, but they don’t have any veteran leadership. I want to help. I could straighten it out in five minutes. I wish they’d get Allen involved. All those young kids worship him.”
So it’s basically the same thing, except this time Brown is saying that he wants to help and could fix it quickly. That’s an interesting one.
First, let’s define “straighten it out.” If Brown means “get more competitive,” I don’t really disagree with him. If he’s had the time to follow the NBA closely while he’s been a college coach, then he probably could make some personnel moves to get better right away. It would involve sacrificing young players and future picks acquired by general manager Sam Hinkie, though. That would not be ideal.
The question is what Brown’s — or any potential Hinkie replacement’s — plan would be to build a championship team. If Hinkie simply wanted to see more victories, he could have easily signed enough proven rotation players last summer to get to, say, 30 wins. That’s obviously not his goal, though. This Philadelphia front office wants sustainable success, which requires stars, and most stars are acquired in the draft.
There’s not just one way to build an NBA team, and with this extreme losing, the Sixers are bound to take criticism. With apologies to Brown, though, the solution is probably not to simply sign some vets and hire Iverson. Philadelphia’s taking some bumps right now, but it’s all a part of the process.