Brett Brown (born February 16, 1961) is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. Brown is a former college basketball player who previously served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Brown also has extensive experience coaching in Australia previously serving as the head coach of two NBL teams and the Australia men’s national basketball team.
Brown played four seasons at Boston University under Rick Pitino. Brown was named the Lou Cohen MVP in his sophomore year and served as the team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. During Brown’s senior year in 1983, the Boston Terriers made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1959. By the time he graduated, Brown had compiled the fourth most assists in school history. After graduation, Brown served as a graduate assistant under coach John Kuester. Brown also took a sales job with AT&T, ultimately saving up enough money to take a backpacking trip to Oceania in 1987. While in Australia, Brown made a cold call to Melbourne Tigers head coach Lindsay Gaze, ultimately leading to a job offer and Brown making Australia his home.
After attending a basketball camp run by Brown and Andrew Gaze, San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford hired Brown as an unpaid member of the Spurs basketball operations department for the 1998-1999 season. In 2002, after a stint with the Sydney Kings, Brown would again take a position with the Spurs, this time as the team’s director of player development. Buford credited Brown with focusing attention on the team’s lesser-known players, creating a consistently strong bench; this philosophy would continue to benefit the Spurs even after Brown left his role as player development director. Brown was promoted to as an assistant coach in September 2007, working under coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich calls Brown “one of his best friends,” and Brown would later incorporate many of Popovich’s concepts into Brown’s own offensive system. Brown played a major role in signing Australian guard Patty Mills, who played under Brown for the Australian national team. Brown was a member of the Spurs organization for four Spurs championship seasons.
During the 2013 NBA off-season, Brown was offered a chance to succeed Mike Budenholzer as the top assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff, but in August 2013 Brown chose instead to become head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Brown inherited a team in “total rebuilding mode” led by new GM Sam Hinkie, and the Sixers were only able to woo Brown away from the Spurs after offering a 4-year guaranteed contract. Brown’s appointment made him the 24th head coach in the history of the franchise, and the second person to be a head coach in both the NBL and the NBA, following Mike Dunlap. The Sixers were the youngest team in the league during Brown’s first year, and one of the youngest of all-time. During the second half of the 2013–14 season, the Sixers would lose 26 games in a row, tying the record for longest NBA losing streak. Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2014, and credited Brown for helping him win the award and grow as a player.
On December 11, 2015, the 76ers signed Brown to a contract extension.
Career highlights and awards
NBL champion (1994)
NBL Coach of the Year (1994)
As assistant coach:
NBA champion (2007)