76ers fire coach Brett Brown after first-round playoff sweep

Ryan Young
·3 mins read

The Philadelphia 76ers fired coach Brett Brown on Monday afternoon, ending his seven-year tenure with the organization.

The move came just one day after the team was swept by the Boston Celtics and eliminated from playoff contention at Walt Disney World in Florida.

“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,” general manager Elton Brand said. “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.

“This will be an important offseason for us as we look to get back on track towards our goal of competing for an NBA championship.”

Brown took over in Philadelphia before the 2013-14 season, following a nine-year stint as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and compiled a 221-344 record with the organization. He led them to the playoffs for the past three seasons, though never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He was under contract through the end of the 2021-22 season.

“In 2013, I was employed to lead one of the most dramatic rebuilds in professional sports history,” Brown said in a statement. “In the past seven years, our players and coaches have evolved and grown, and I have deep appreciation for the 102 players I have coached. I am grateful for my coaching staffs and their dedication to our common goal, while also proud to see three of my former assistants now deservedly NBA head coaches and one major college head coach.

“I would also like to thank the ownership group, led by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, former [general manager] Sam Hinkie, the 76ers’ historic alumni, our passionate fans and finally current GM Elton Brand, who I coached and worked for. He is a high-character talent that the 76ers are fortunate to have.

“I sincerely wish him, the players and the next coaching staff my very best in their pursuit of an NBA championship.”

League sources told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes this week that Brown never grabbed full command of the locker room in Philadelphia and his gameplan was often questioned. There was also a reported lack of trust within the locker room and an inability to hold players accountable.

Who will replace Brett Brown?

Brown’s removal is expected to be one of several structural changes the organization will make in the front office, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brand is expected to continue to oversee basketball operations.

The goal for the team’s next leaders, per the report, is to keep both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — who suffered a knee injury and missed the entirety of their playoff series against the Celtics — together next season.

The 76ers’ coaching search, according to Wojnarowski, is expected to start with Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.

Lue led the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James to an NBA title in 2016, his first season as a head coach in the league. He was fired from that post early in the 2018-19 campaign, and joined Doc Rivers’ staff in Los Angeles this season. He is widely considered to be one of the top available coaches in the NBA world.

The team will also reportedly consider longtime Villanova coach Jay Wright, too.

Wright has been with the Wildcats since 2001 and led them to two national championships, three Final Fours and 14 NCAA tournament appearances. They have won the Big East regular season title in six of the past seven seasons, too.

The Philadelphia 76ers fired coach Brett Brown on Monday, one day after they were swept out of the playoffs in Florida. (AP/Ashley Landis, Pool)
The Philadelphia 76ers fired coach Brett Brown on Monday, one day after they were swept out of the playoffs in Florida. (AP/Ashley Landis, Pool)

More from Yahoo Sports: