Sixers Fire Head Coach Brett Brown

The Sixers have parted ways with head coach Brett Brown, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The move, which has been confirmed in a press release by the club, had been anticipated in the wake of Philadelphia’s quick, disappointing postseason exit.

According to Wojnarowski, Brown’s ouster is expected to be the first of multiple changes within the organization. The 76ers’ senior leadership will likely explore an upheaval of the front office structure, sources tell ESPN. Amidst those looming changes, general manager Elton Brand is expected to continue overseeing basketball operations, Woj notes.

Brown, 59, was hired as the Sixers’ head coach in 2013 by former head of basketball operations Sam Hinkie. His teams over the next four seasons posted a dismal 75-253 record (.229), but the franchise was focused on gathering assets during those years rather than on-court results. With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons establishing themselves as stars, Philadelphia compiled a 146-91 mark (.616) during Brown’s last three seasons.

Brown kept his job even as Hinkie was replaced in the front office by Bryan Colangelo, who was in turn replaced by Brand. However, the team’s underwhelming results in the postseason in recent years and Brown’s inability to fully unlock the potential of the Embiid/Simmons pairing led to the end of his tenure in Philadelphia.

“I have a tremendous level of respect for Brett both personally and professionally and appreciate all he’s done for the 76ers organization and the City of Philadelphia,” Brand said today in a statement. “He did many positive things during his time here, developing young talent and helping position our team for three straight postseason appearances. Unfortunately, we fell well short of our goals this year and I believe it is best to go in a new direction.”

Brown reportedly had his ups and downs in 2018/19 with former Sixers swingman Jimmy Butler. During the ’19/20 season, Al Horford expressed frustration about not having a defined role communicated to him, and some people in the locker room have questioned Brown’s handling of rookie Matisse Thybulle, as we relayed earlier today. Josh Richardson also expressed on Sunday that “more accountability” is necessary within the organization going forward.

There was a sense within the Sixers that, after seven seasons, they had gone as far as they could with Brown, according to Wojnarowski, who reports that the head coach expected to be let go unless the team made a deep playoff run.

For what it’s worth, Brown said after Sunday’s loss that he felt as if he never got to show his full potential as a coach, due in large part to frequent injuries over the years. Both Embiid and Simmons have battled health issues in recent years.

There’s still a “strong desire” to keep those two All-Stars together, according to Woj, who says the Sixers intend to let a new coaching staff attempt to maximize Embiid’s and Simmons’ potential before considering the idea of a trade.

Brown still had two years remaining on his contract with the 76ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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31 thoughts on “Sixers Fire Head Coach Brett Brown

  1. acarneglia

    Not a surprise, especially with being swept. He helped them through the rough times of the rebuild and the Process, but they need a change to get them to a championship level. Also roster construction needs to change.

  2. stretch123

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the Pelicans pick him up as their head coach.

  3. jonscriff

    Could see a coach like Kenny A(idk how to spell it) that use to coach the nets.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      yeah that Tobias Harris extension and trading Jimmy Buckets moves did not work out how EB planned.

      • progina

        Tobias deserved to get paid but he’s hidden in the shadows of simmons and embiid, I know he had a rough series against the Celtics but 4 games doesn’t prove anything. Also, jimmy didn’t workout because brown didn’t want him, because he made the other players accountable for themselves and brown was embarrassed because he couldn’t control the locker room

        • progina

          I’m also not protecting EB because he has definitely made mistakes but I do believe that coaching was the biggest problem

      • DarkSide830

        Butler clearly didnt want to come back. they were kinda put in a baf spot by him there. i agree on Harris though.

  4. Raptors head coach just won coach of the year, so he might be fired after this season concludes.

    Could be a target.

  5. Sillivan

    I am wild.
    I will trade everyone on 76ers.

    Start with Brand and Brown (2B)
    then Horford and Harris (2H)
    then Richardson and Robinson (2R)
    then Scott and Smith (2S)

    Finally make great trade on Embiid and Simmons

  6. Kinda hard to blame him with the poor roster construction. He didn’t give away two solid shooters in Saric and RoCo for a season on Jimmy, then let Redick walk. Seems like their GMs have been trying to assemble talent players that don’t have complimenting skillsets

  7. Chucktoad1

    It’s not really Brett Browns fault and I don’t really blame Elton Brand.
    It a tough situation when you have 2 guys that are as talented as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. They’re so talented you hate to trade one of them knowing there’s no way your gonna get their value back , yet their skill sets just don’t mesh.
    The 76ers are trying to contend so you can’t trade for picks.
    You have to find another team with a player of their caliber that want to trade a star.

    • bostondynasty

      Nobody is giving up stars to corral Philly head cases. There is a reason they were SWEPT.

      1983. Too pathetic

  8. Brown’s responsibility for the team goes beyond X’s and O’s. He wasn’t just their HC, coaching the players that he was handed by the FO. His evaluations of their personnel, including how to use Simmons and Embid, and who to surround them with, were the template around which their roster was built. Brown predated Brand and his predecessor. He had a hand in the hiring of both.

    Watching Brown’s Philly teams was painful. If there were inherent chemistry issues between their two stars, then he did everything in his power to aggravate it. These were young players, who’s skill sets and styles were still evolving. There was and is no reason they can’t be effective playing together. But it would never happen under Brown.

    • x%sure

      Agree about the Sixer setup.

      This is not the time to get rid of all the players and GM Brand or to “blow it up”… try a new HC first.

      IMO, no need to dump the extraneous Horford this offseason either, since he probably is not that fully committed anyway, and won’t be set back much by sitting in his second of a four-year contract. Of course if they get offered a great… yada yada.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Brand should go with him. Brown didn’t want Jimmy. Beginning of the end for him. Jimmy is the only winner, dog they had. Fultz, Harris instead of Jimmy, Horford instead of DAngelo or Kemba. They even cut Tre Burke. Harris and Horford have to go. Nets would love Harris.

  10. hill

    I wonder if BB was the driving force behind the decision to let Jimmy go.

    If you’re EB, you have nothing to lose — help BB do this, if it works out everyone wins and you have a strong relationship w your inherited head coach. If it fails, internally everyone knows it’s on BB’s head.

  11. x%sure


    Philly is now ahead of Denver and Indiana in a new-HC search. Why did the Pacers re-up Mcmillan in the middle of a sweep!?— they must have put in escape clauses.
    Probably neither him nor Malone will be fired though until a slow start next year, and that will turn into another wasted year, like Philly’s this year.

  12. madjob33

    In Boston, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis shoot 3’s. Ben Simmons does not. Ask yourself why and be honest..not excuse laden.

    • x%sure

      Sometimes players have to choose between looking at the rim (3s) and looking across the floor for who might pop open (assists). IDK what Brown’s coaching to Simmons was. But again, with a new coach…

  13. El Don

    IMO the biggest problem was to trade for Butler, that was the beginning of the end for PHI contending for a championship. RoCo & Saric together are way better than Butler, both can shoot as well unlike Butler.
    I will never understand why they traded them for Butler.
    When they had Simmons/JJ/RoCo/Saric/Embiid they were at their best. Butler destroyed this team, not his fault but he just wasn’t good enough.

  14. KnickerbockerAl

    Butler took them to ECF. Against Raptors
    He led team in ast 5.6, in pts 22.6, in mins played 267, 2nd in FTA and FT%, 3rd in reb 7.0, 2nd in steals, 3rd in steals. He’s 1st Team all defense. Butler is responsible for taking them to Finals. If not for 4 bounces he’d be MVP. And brought a title to Philly.
    Destroyed this team. That’s funny lol.
    He questioned coach on accepting losing. He questioned team. That didn’t go over well. Look at them now. He’s one of best 2way players in NBA.
    He took the Heat from 10th team in East, To 3rd team this yr. They just swept Pacers. And Bucks better be ready.
    And you say say he wasn’t good enough. You may not like him. That’s fine. But your take is uninformed. Totally wrong. I hope your around for next series. I picked Clippers vs Bucks long ago. But I know Jimmy comes to play. The whole NBA knows that. He’s one of hardest workers in nba. He’s one best conditioned in nba. He’s a first ballot HOFer. Do you actually watch the NBA. I guess you didn’t watch Pacers Heat. Cause he let team in most stats. You can look them up yourself.

  15. jessaumodesto

    I know nothing about him but when he said “the fans” are really helping their team the other day, it was clear he was an idiot.

  16. westwoodwiz

    I remember the narrative pushed after they fired Colangelo: not going to hire GM right away because front office collective is brilliant, cutting-edge, talent identifiers and people developers. Brown and the whiz-kids were going forward as a new-age Harris/Blitzer analytics round table. Everyone got promotions. Marc Eversley, who ran point on the Fultz draft, promoted and then on to GM @ Bulls. We got this… don’t trust us, trust the process.

  17. phillyballers

    Dribble handoff cant win a championship? That’s the entire offense and this year there was no identity.

  18. phillyballers

    A few things that worked against EB. Jimmy Butlers age, wear and tear, and a 5 yr max contract. No way to replace Tobias if you let him walk except for sign and trade (he caused that problem tho w the trade for Tobias). Redick was overpaid by NO. Fultz is a bust. Zhaire is a bust.

    Horford is his fault 100% the only good thing is you can use that contract to make a trade. Yes you have to include draft capital, but ANY trade for a good player involves draft capital.

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