When the Philadelphia 76ers selected Ben Simmons with the first pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, the team not only ensured itself elite talent, but an insurance policy for head coach Brett Brown’s long term employment with team
“This is the real story behind it. Ben Simmons is the son of someone I coached for four years,” Brown said. “I was his dad’s assistant coach when I was with the Melbourne Tigers and his mom was the head cheerleader and then here comes Ben Simmons. David Simmons was from Harlem, New York. He could have been a linebacker, (or Simmons) could have been a prize fighter. (But David Simmons) was a basketball player more out of athleticism and girth than he was out of finesse and skill. He was a tough, tough 6-8 and hard like an Anthony Mason-type player. His son is finesse and a 3, 1, 4. Really different.” – Brett Brown as interviewed by CSNPhill.com’s John Finger
Like Father, Like Son
And so, Brett Brown knew his father. But that relationship would provide more than just give Brown a fresh topic in an interview. It signified the fact that Brett Brown had incredible and detailed insight into the young man behind the box score.
The 2016 NBA Draft came down to two choices at the number one pick. Knowing the intimate details of Ben Simmons life, background, competitiveness, basketball IQ, and family support made it a one choice draft for the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Bryan did a good job last night, it was a safe draft, we didnt do anything reckless” #Sixers Brett Brown on #NBADraft & Bryan Colangelo
As the top pick of an NBA Draft, Ben Simmons arrived with a voice that will be heard by the team’s executives. Unfortunately, he may need to speak up on behalf of head coach Brett Brown in the near future.
In his stint with the Toronto Raptors, Bryan Colangelo fired popular head coach Sam Mitchell, and promoted him with Canadian-Born Jay Triano. In the move, the Raptors hoped to reverse an early season slide after appearing in the playoffs the previous season. The Raptors would not make the playoffs again during Colangelo’s reign.
It’s just one more complexity of this team. Brown has an incredible stake at risk to get Simmons NBA-ready as quickly as possible. But Simmons has an equally incredible stake to produce for his father’s head coach.