Head coach Brett Brown and forward Jimmy Butler shook off questions about their long-term plans with the Philadelphia 76ers in the immediate aftermath of a Game 7 loss Sunday to the Toronto Raptors.
Brown, rumored to be on the hot seat if the 76ers didn’t advance to the conference finals, invited reporters to address general manager Elton Brand and team ownership about anything “internal,” including his standing with the 76ers.
“If you just follow our time in Philadelphia — we win 10 games, we’ve been through a handful of general managers, ping pong balls, different draft picks,” Brown said. “Now you fast forward, we’ve gone back-to-back 50-(win) seasons. Not too many people in this room gave us a chance against Toronto. There’s lots to be proud of.”
76ers owner Josh Harris was noncommittal in April when asked about Brown’s hold on the job, sparking speculation the franchise was ready to move in another direction.
Center Joel Embiid said firing Brown would be a “bulls—” move.
“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s been there through everything,” Embiid said. “This year I think he grew even more as a coach. … At the end of the day, it comes down to the players. I don’t think he should have anything to worry about. He’s an amazing coach, a better person. If there was someone to blame, I mean, put it all on me.”
Point guard Ben Simmons said the 76ers have every reason to believe they’ll be back — and ready to take the next step next season.
“We can compete with the best,” Simmons said Sunday.
Whether Butler, a pending free agent, will be around for the next phase of the “process” is up in the air.
“I’m not worried about that right now,” Butler said. “I don’t want to talk about anything besides basketball.”
Guard JJ Redick teared up in the locker room discussing how different the makeup of the 2019-20 roster might be.
“Really proud of our group,” Redick said. “Give them a lot of credit. That was a helluva Game 7.”
–Field Level Media