The 76ers are devoted to Brett Brown.
Team co-managing partner Josh Harris acknowledged Saturday night the plan is to keep Brown beyond the end of next season when his contract is set to expire.
“I’m invested in keeping Brett here for a long time,” Harris said before the Sixers defeated the Miami Heat, 130-103, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Center.
Harris said his ownership group runs the team differently than other sports franchises. He said the group likes to create the culture and longevity in people. That’s why it takes the organization a long time to make a hire. Having patience, it prides itself in giving employees the benefit of the doubt until they show otherwise.
“Certainly Brett is on the other side of that,” Harris said. “He’s knocking the cover off the ball.”
Brown compiled just 75 wins during his first four seasons while the Sixers were tanking and collecting top draft picks. This season, however, he led the team to a 52-30 record, third place in the Eastern Conference and its first postseason appearance since the 2011-12 season. They concluded the with 16 straight end-of-the-season wins to set an NBA record.
“I think he should be coach of the year,” Harris said. “I think that Brett was clearly an amazing coach before this year in terms of his player development skills, and his vision, and the culture that he built.”
That is why the Sixers gave him a two-year extension back on Dec. 11, 2015, despite his having a career mark of 38-149 at that point and in the midst of a 10-72 campaign.
“But this year was the first year that he was really tested in terms of his in-game tactics and how he ran the team and wins,” Harris said. “We were judging him by wins. Go win some games. He delivered in spades. We overexceeded expectations.”
That’s why he thinks everyone’s hat should be off to Brown, who Harris described as a great person.
“I hope he’s here for a long time,” the owner said.
When it comes down to birth certificates, the Heat are more Philadelphia’s team than the Sixers. Miami’s Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington and Derrick Jones Jr. are all from the area. Ellington, a Wynnewood native, was a McDonald’s All-American at Episcopal Academy. Waiters, who’s sidelined after season-ending ankle surgery, is from South Philly. He finished his high school career at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J. And Jones, a Chester native, played at Archbishop Carroll.