Brett Brown may be coaching to keep his job as the Sixers face the Raptors in Game 7 tomorrow, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. Stein states that Brown “has little chance of surviving a second-round exit” and likely needs to reach the NBA Finals to avoid being fired.
Philadephia took two big roster gambles this season, trading for Jimmy Butler in November and Tobias Harris in February. Both will be free agents this summer, along with J.J. Redick, and it appears the front office won’t forgive Brown if the team doesn’t win big right away.
Brown’s first sign of trouble came just before the opening-round series against the Nets when managing partner Josh Harris sidestepped an opportunity to give him a vote of confidence. Harris responded to a question on the topic by saying the entire organization has “high expectations.”
A coaching change would be a costly move for the Sixers, who gave Brown a three-year extension last May. However, that decision was made by former president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who left the team a week later after an incident involving Twitter burner accounts.
Brown, 58, has been the head coach in Philadelphia since the 2013/14 season, surviving a lot of lean years during “The Process” as the team lost big to accumulate assets. He has led the Sixers to 52 and 51 wins the past two seasons, along with a second-round playoff loss last year.