J.J. Redick on Brett Brown: ‘I Don’t Think Brett is the Problem’
Former Sixers guard J.J. Redick spoke candidly on a recent edition of the Sixers Beat Podcast with Derek Bodner and Rich Hoffman of The Athletic.
Redick who signed during the offseason to play in New Orleans with the Pelicans, is averaging 14.9 points, hitting 45.2% of his 3-point shots in 26.4 minutes per game.
While the Sixers have had a up-and-down season, they currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff race with the Season in limbo as we write this, Redick told the podcast that this uneven regular season should have been expected.
"It was sort of inevitable that they would have, I would call it, an uneven regular season," Redick explained. "Ultimately, hopefully this gets to play out hopefully we have a playoffs, I think the thinking, and I’m not speaking for Elton here, was, of course, to build a team that could beat the Bucks or beat Toronto in the playoffs."
Redick explained that the Sixers using a bigger lineup, forcing each player to move down a position, Al Horford going from a five-to-four, Tobias Harris from a four-to-three, and Josh Richardson from a three man to a two, would cause this uneven play.
Another issue Redick discussed was the constant changing of the lineup, the impact thjat had on Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as young players in the league, and the rapidly growing expectations that grew very quickly after their 52 win season two years ago.
"Its hard not just on them (Ben and Joel), its hard on the coaches, its hard on the team," Redick admitted. "You want some level of continuity."
Continuity is certainly something the Sixers have lacked, they have probably changed roster configuration more times than any contender in the league over the past three season, bringing in multiple players with vastly different skill-sets.
Redick acknowledged that the exceptions and the pressure elevated super quick during his tenure with the Sixers.
Another topic that was discussed was the comments that Jimmy Butler made on Redick's podcast about, "not knowing who was in charge" during his time in Philadelphia.
"I don't want to speculate on what Jimmy meant," Redick said. "You can assume he was partially talking about Brett (Brown) or Elton (Brand), or ownership...the assumption of course is that he was talking about everybody."
"I wish that Brett and Jimmy could have clicked," Redick continued. "That would have been great for sure."
Which brings us to Brett Brown.
Brown has become a polarizing discussion, causing a major split between Sixers fans, many of which want him gone. He is typically the first person criticized by angry fans after every loss, by people who want him fired. However, rarely does the anti-Brown crowd give him any credit when the Sixers pull off a big win, like over the Bucks, Clippers or Lakers.
Redick, a 14-year veteran has played for many high-profiles coaches in the league during his career.
"I think Brett is one of the best," Redick said.
"I would describe him as a players coach. He is incredibly thorough and detailed. The thing that I always appreciated the most about Brett is how thoughtful he is. There is a purpose team meetings, film sessions, practice, walk-through - there is a purpose to your daily schedule. Everything is so thought-out and meticulous."
"I think its one of the main reasons he is as a coach and gotten to this level."
Redick mentioned that he is aware of the displeasure of Brown among Sixers fans, but added he thinks fans are pointing the finger at the wrong person if they think Brown is to blame for the Sixers short-comings.
"I would love to play for Brett again, I don't think Brett is the problem, if there is a problem."
"Sometimes things maybe just don't work, but in my time there, I think we accomplished a lot and I thought we were so very close to getting into the conference finals and really having a chance to win last year."
Redick mentioned how close the team was, and added that was without Embiid being at his best and physical peak due to illness.
Another topic that came up was how much impact Brown and other NBA coaches actually have, talking about who sets the locker room culture, star players or coaches.
"I would say in my two years there, we did have a good culture, a really enjoyable culture, two of the most enjoyable years of my career," Redick stated.
"Yes it is on the coach to help establish that, but its also on the players. And this isn't a knock on Joel and Ben at all, but very rarely are the best players also the best leaders, that is super rare. You are talking about like 2-3 players in the last 20 years."
He mentioned that some of the best players on a team can also be leaders of a team, but isn't sure that player is the player who can be the best player on the team that wins championships.
"The Tim Duncan and the Steph Curry's, they are anomaly's, absolute anomaly's. That they are the best player on a championship level team and they are the leaders."
Redick also discussed how the nit-picking by a group of the Sixers fans can be ridiculous at times, and that just because those opinions exists, doesn't make them true.
Finally Redick discussed the Simmons and Embiid fit and how the team uses them, saying that in his two years their numbers were very good, while this year those numbers have gone down.
"I don't think they are changing, I think the people around them are changing," explained Redick. "That to me goes back to the right fit, the right pieces, I think they can fit together for sure. They are both extremely intelligent and I think they will figure it out."
In closing Redick said about his time in Philadelphia that he has never played for a NBA team that had a crowd like Philly, oh and all his driving on the New Jersey Turnpike everyday from his Brooklyn home to Philadelphia.
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