Brett Brown Rumors
Q. We’ve heard that you oversaw the defense under Brett Brown in Philadelphia. What were your responsibilities? Lloyd Pierce: Everything. And I say that with humility. Brett empowered me to run our defense. I’m not taking credit from a selfish standpoint. He presented the opportunity to me I think three years ago and said I want to make you the single voice. I am going to rely on that to make the decisions, the executive decisions of what we do in-game and how we prepare. It was more of his empowerment than me leading. But he gave me full autonomy on what we were going to do on the defensive end whether it’s the drills, the game plan — I game-planned for all 82 games — the concepts and kind of creating that defensive culture. It’s been a huge responsibility. I don’t know how many assistant coaches in the league have had that responsibility to cover the entire defense and all 82 game preps. That was the role.
Pierce spent five years as an assistant coach with the 76ers, who finished this past season third in the Eastern Conference at 52-30 and advanced to the conference semifinals. Under head coach Brett Brown, Pierce was in charge of the Sixers’ defense and often wrote plays in the timeout. Pierce helped the Sixers grow from a laughable young team to an NBA force that landed the East’s third seed entering the playoffs. Brown has strongly stated that Pierce was ready to be an NBA head coach. “He understands today’s NBA,” one former Sixers player said. “No nonsense. He sets expectations. He holds players accountable. He gets along with players in a responsible way.”
A source relayed to PhillyVoice that the Sixers will seek to resolve Brett Brown’s extension, discussed during Bryan Colangelo’s media availability Friday, before moving forward on replacing Pierce.
There is more involvement from other parties — including management and ownership — on a front-facing assistant like Pierce, however. Brown and the front office have discussed the possibility of staffers leaving for a period of over a year, a source told PhillyVoice, and will collaborate on who to bring in to replace Pierce. This process includes whether the position and Pierce’s responsibilities can be filled using internal options.
The final year of Brown’s two-year extension is the 2018-19 season. “It happens all the time, but I don’t think it’s the healthiest of situations with coaching going into a season with one-year remaining on their contracts,” Colangelo said. “It impacts so many aspects of what you’re doing. “So I’m hopeful for the appropriate time we sit down and have some discussion with respect to his situation, and he realizes just how much we value him as the coach of this program.”
The Sixers concluded the campaign with 16 straight end-of-the-season wins to set an NBA record. They also advanced to the conference semifinal, losing 4-1 to the Boston Celtics. Not bad for the squad that tanked the previous four season. “This year was the first year that he was really tested in terms of his in-game tactics and how he ran the team and wins,” Harris said on April 14. “We were judging him by wins. Go win some games. He delivered in spades. We over-exceeded expectations.” That’s why he thinks everyone’s hat should be off to Brown, who Harris described as a great person. “I hope he’s here for a long time,” the owner said.