It’s one thing to anticipate a difficult season.
It’s quite another to actually endure all the losses.
Brett Brown was a member of the San Antonio Spurs’ organization during their four championships in 1999, ’03, ’05 and ’07.
Winning was all he knew. Winning was all he expected.
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When Brown accepted the 76ers’ head coaching position before this season, the harsh reality was understood. The team was going to struggle.
After rolling to a surprising 15-31 record, the Sixers have now lost 18 straight games. That’s two shy of tying the franchise mark of 20 set during the brutal 1972-73 season in which they won only nine games.
The Sixers have also dropped 14 consecutive games at the Wells Fargo Center. They’ve lost to the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings during this skid, two of the worst teams in the league.
Through it all, Brown has remained focused on all the long-term goals. He has stayed positive and upbeat.
“I think about it all the time,” Brown said. “You have to remind yourself why we’re all here, the roster that we have. I hear what you say about a following and it’s mounting and here are the losses and here’s another one, and at some point you end up getting closer to whatever the record is. I think about that, but it doesn’t influence anything I’m doing. It’s borne out of just being competitive. That’s really as far as it goes for me.”
Losing can’t be easy.
Especially for Brown, who has done nothing but win in the past.
“This is by far and away the most losing I’ve ever done,” Brown said. “It’s painful. Of course, it’s painful. We’re all competitive. You want stuff now. You want to fix stuff now. You want to help the guys experience a win, because we go hard. We’re serious about everything that we do. … We hope that we’re not skipping steps. I hope that I’m doing the right thing by our guys, and try to grow a program from A to Z. But when you lose, that’s our report card. How can that not be hard? But we move on.
“We don’t want sympathy. We don’t want pity. I have friends that (say), ‘Hey, hang in there.’ I love them I appreciate them reaching out. But we’re fine. We sleep. Life moves on. We get it done in a way that we hope to build something. But I’d be lying if I said it’s not hard.”
The job won’t get easier with the Indiana Pacers coming to town tomorrow followed by the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.