The Philadelphia 76ers learned Tuesday night at the NBA Draft Lottery that they would be picking first overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. After a 10-win season, it’s safe to say the organization was relieved to get their choice of prospects Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday to relive being on stage in New York City and the importance of the first pick.
“I joke with my son, he says dad, we got to get to the commercial, and you get to the commercial, that means you got at least three,” said Brown. “To sit up there on a stage in New York City in real time and let it play out is an interesting exercise. It was a very important night for the organization.”
It’s been a rough three years for Brown in Philadelphia. Three straight seasons as the worst team in the NBA. At the beginning it was bearable, but as time went on, it only became more painful for Brown.
“I felt the first two years, it was manageable, bearable, purposeful. You could sort of wrap your arms around why,” Brown said. “The third year was difficult. The third year it felt, to be candid, very difficult. When it ended and you look back and say what have we done. I’m really proud of things that are in place that have nothing to do with our record. It was difficult last year after the All Star break, going forward was difficult.”
What made the third year so difficult for Brown?
“The beatdown. I’ve been privileged to be around winning programs, either as a player or as a head coach or as an assistant with Pop,” Brown said. “This is a very passionate city. It’s a very tough city, sport-minded city. When you have always prided yourself as trying to be transparent with our fans, with the media. When it’s ongoing, it’s hard.
“I’ve said many times the pain of losing is real. I think the volume over time. It got to a stage where you felt like enough is enough. I think that is the relief when you read that quote and you sit up on stage and you realize.”
Brighter days are ahead for the 76ers, and this off-season expects to be a busy one.
“We got the first pick, we have existing players like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil and Covington and Grant, we got the 24th and 26th pick, we have Joel Embiid and Dario Saric who are like redshirt people, people we have drafted and never player. For the first time, we’re going to jump into free agency, and we have money available to us, a significant amount of money. You got a $75 million practice facility that we’re going to move in to, brand new, in another few months. That’s the relief. That’s the stuff that you took the job for.”