The Philadelphia 76ers have fired head coach Brett Brown, the team announced Monday. Additionally, the team will consider changes to their front office structure, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. General manager Elton Brand is expected to remain in place as the head of basketball operations, but the rest of the staff beneath him is subject to change. The 76ers were swept out of the first round by the Boston Celtics on Sunday, and Brown had been on the hot seat for most of the season. He took over as head coach of the 76ers in 2013, under Sam Hinkie, and survived through the Bryan Colangelo era and into Elton Brand's tenure as general manager.
Brown, therefore, was the coach throughout Hinkie's entire "Process" period of tanking for high draft picks. Those early seasons gave him such underwhelming rosters to work with that he only won around 39 percent of his games in Philadelphia despite later success. After years at the bottom of the standings, the tandem of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid gave the 76ers a chance to meaningfully compete for championships. However, after three consecutive postseasons without a trip to the Eastern Conference finals, the 76ers are reportedly ready to pull the plug.
Rumors about his job security swirled all season, and injuries made it especially difficult for him to keep the 76ers afloat. Almost every player on the roster dealt with health issues during the season, and an injury Simmons suffered in the bubble ended Philadelphia's championship hopes for good. Without him, they were no match for the wing-heavy Celtics.
A number of possible candidates have caught the team's eye, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. They include incumbent assistant Ime Udoka, Villanova coach Jay Wright, former Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger and former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Ty Lue. Interest between the Sixers and Lue is expected to be mutual, according to Wojnarowski.
Now the 76ers will need to find a coach creative enough to overcome the stylistic differences between Embiid and Simmons, two non-shooters that have struggled to mesh with near-constant turnover on the rest of the roster. The new coach will be tasked with creating an offense that can work with limited spacing and building continuity in an organization that has had little of it during Brown's tumultuous tenure.