76ers Blog: Brown Discusses Facing Former Team
11/11/2013 12:17:00 PM
Prior to signing on as the 25th head coach in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise this past August, Brett Brown (pictured with coaching staff following shoot-around) was a member of Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs coaching staff for over a decade. During that stretch, Brown helped Popovich lead San Antonio to four NBA championships and five Western Conference titles. The Spurs earned at least 50 wins in 11 of the 12 years that Brown was with the organization; the lone exception came in 1998 - 1999, when labor strife limited the NBA schedule to 50 games.
Tonight, Brown confronts his former team at 7:00 PM at the Wells Fargo Center.
'It's not that dramatic, it really isn't,' Brown said of the significance he's attaching to the match-up. 'This one is different, but as far as tilting you, it's not even close to that. I look forward to playing against players I've been with a long time, Hall of Fame players, NBA champions, and using that as a yard stick to see where our young guys are at.'
Monday, the Sixers took the floor for the first time since splitting their back-to-back, home-and-home weekend set with Cleveland. They dropped Saturday's game in double over-time, 127-125.
'It should be a fun night,' said Evan Turner, who thought that Brown had a little more energy than usual at this morning's shoot-around. 'I think he would definitely like to win. Ever single game, from what I can judge, he wants to win. That's just his personality.'
Brown admitted that matching minds against 'one of the greatest influences' in his life does add some extra incentive
'You steal from everybody,' said Brown about taking lessons he's learned from previous coaching stops, and applying them to his own personal approach. 'I've stolen the most from (Popovich). It's significant what we do. I experienced playing in five championships and winning 50 games every time I was with him. It's a hybrid, but far more titled towards what I learned from Pop.'
Brown cited people skills and the ability to enforce accountability as Popovich's most distinguishing qualities.
'He's a great X-and-O coach, but there's something else going on that's the great separator,' said Brown.
Brown and Popovich continue to communicate on a regular basis, speaking - Brown estimated - three to four times a week.