Heading into Monday’s clash with his old team and coming off a back-to-back in Cleveland, current Philadelphia 76ers head coach and former long-time Spurs assistant Brett Brown had little time to catch up with some old friends in San Antonio, but he made it work.
On Monday morning, Brown had former Spurs defensive ace Bruce Bowen hang out in his coaches and players meetings, which included discussing the importance accepting your role on the team.
“Bruce sat in on our coaches meeting and then he sat in on the players meeting, and I thought, well, he’s here, an undrafted player that is a 14-year NBA veteran, that is an eight-time All-NBA Defensive player, that is a four-time first-team All-NBA Defensive player and is a three-time NBA champion. That ain’t bad, right?
”So, to share that story and to remind our guys that everybody has a role (was helpful). He played with Manu Ginobili, Timmy and Tony Parker, and he did his thing. That was his role, that was his job. And isn’t that a huge part of any successful family, team, organization? And sharing that message with my young team was fantastic.”
Later, he had lunch with Tim Duncan at the team hotel and a long chat with Gregg Popovich prior to the game. (And he wants you to you know that hanging out with Timmy was “not boring at all.”)
Lastly, he had high praise for a player he has coached at many levels, from the Australian club level, to the Spurs and the Australian national team: Patty Mills.
”He’s grown up into something I’m very proud of. I’ve been watching him since he was a teenager and I’ve seen him grown from sort of a young, dynamic scorer to an amazingly prideful athlete.
”His indigenous heritage is something he’s proud of,” Brown said. “I’ve heard him to talk to many athletes and our own players on the Australian Olympic team. Recently, I saw one of his quotes where he talked about the (Spurs) and the standard of the club, talking about how (wearing the uniform) matters more than losing to whoever they lost to, and I got a flashback of how he handles the role of the Australian captain.”
You can watch Brown’s pregame interview below. It is wonderful to see him doing so well in Philly. Not many coaches would have tolerated the stigma of “The Process” being attached to their first several years as a head coach to the level he did, but now that things are coming together for the very promising, young 76ers, he has finally been able to show what he can really do as a coach.
#Sixers coach Brett Brown with some great things to say about #Spurs, championship memories, Coach Popovich and hanging with Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen this morning...also some good stuff on @Patty_Mills and what he means to Australian and Indigenous culture #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/d0fZmerjKD— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) December 18, 2018