76ers GM supporting Brett Brown amid struggles, won't commit to retaining him

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand still believes in head coach Brett Brown despite the team’s recent struggles. 

He refused, however, to commit to saying that Brown would be the coach for the rest of the season and beyond while speaking with reporters ahead of the 76ers’ 119-107 win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

“I’m not going to play what-ifs,” Brand said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He is our head coach and I am supporting Brett Brown. He is our leader.”

Philadelphia, having entered the season with very clear goals to reach the NBA Finals, has struggled in recent weeks. The team boasts a 32-21 record, good for the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference, and are just 9-19 on the road. Friday’s win snapped a four-game losing skid, too, which included double-digit road losses to the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. 

Both centers Al Horford and Joel Embiid outwardly expressed their frustrations with the team’s performance in recent days — Horford even hinted at internal troubles in the locker room — and NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley even compared the team to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

While they have struggled on the road, it’s been a totally different story at home. The 76ers are now a league-best 22-2 at the Wells Fargo Center, something undoubtedly keeping them in the postseason conversation.

Still, their troubles have raised more and more questions about Brown’s job security.

“I know we are more of a team than what we’ve seen recently,” Brand said, via ESPN. “Make no mistake, we are disappointed in how we’ve played recently.

“The players understand how they have to do better. The whole organization has to do better.”

Brown is now in his seventh season with the 76ers, though has reached the postseason just twice, and is under contract through the 2021-22 season. Should the team’s struggles continue, calls for his job will likely only get louder. 

For the time being, however, Brand is content with Brown at the helm. If that ever changes, he said he will be the one to make the call.

“Brett is our head coach,” Brand said, via ESPN. “I believe in Brett’s ability to lead this team. I will be responsible for that decision when it comes.” 

Though Elton Brand stood by coach Brett Brown on Friday, he declined to make any commitments about Brown’s future with the organization. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

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