The Philadelphia 76ers could find themselves in a tight spot by the end of the 2018-19 NBA Season. For argument’s sake, let’s say they don’t make it out of the first-round again. If that were to happen, then how safe is the job of Brett Brown? Despite his success with the young team, Brown could end up being the next Mark Jackson.
Basketball fans should remember Jackson well. Not only from his playing days but as the head coach for the Golden State Warriors. Yes, he was the one guiding them right before Steve Kerr came and led them to three of the last four NBA championships. Think about what Jackson did for the Warriors.
In his first season in 2011, he guided the Warriors to 23 wins. In 2012, the Warriors upped their record to 47 wins while advancing to the Western Conference Semis. Then, came the big leap in 2014 when he took the Warriors to 51 wins, but they lost in the first round. What did Mark Jackson receive for his hard work? You guessed it, walking papers.
The next year, Kerr took over, and the rest has been NBA history. But is Brett Brown in a similar situation? Yes, he is.
Despite what the Philadelphia 76ers were able to do in 2018, going from 28 wins to 52, Brett Brown has to prove that he and his team can handle the pressure that comes with winning and having targets on their backs. The team is led by two players who are still learning the NBA game and one another. While the organization has done a wonderful job of placing role players around them, 2018 will be the year that it all has to come together. This is the same issue that Mark Jackson faced before he was let go.
With LeBron gone out West, the teams the Sixers will have to contend with are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Washington Wizards. If Brown can lead them to the NBA Finals, then, it’s safe to say he gets another go. But if the team should fall short, the Sixers may begin to look for another leader. Is it fair? No, but this is the life of a coach with one of the talented teams in the league.
What also may cause an issue for Brown is that he’s interim GM as well. This offseason, with names like Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and a few other big names available, the Philadelphia 76ers and Brown whiffed on every last one of them. While they will bring back the main core, will it be enough to get them over that hump?
While the rumors are that Jackson had a bit of a power struggle with the Warriors’ brass, Brown has to win or else. Imagine the Sixers falling short, and then some coach like Mark Jackson comes in, and the Sixers win a title. As crazy as it sounds, this is the possibility the team is facing.
Was Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green this good under Jackson? Yes, but Curry was frequently injured, and the team just couldn’t get their chemistry right. Maybe Kerr was the missing link, or maybe it was all just bad timing for Jackson.
With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both having finished their first full season, they are being mentioned as two of the new faces of the NBA. But still, it’s up to Brett Brown to harness their skills and lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a title.
Fans love Brown but what the city desperately wants is an NBA title. While failure is not an option, it’s still a possibility. No one thought the Warriors would let Jackson go, but by doing so, it turns out they made the best decision for their franchise. What if the Philadelphia 76ers are put in the same position in 2019?