Brett Brown knows his days as the Philadelphia 76ers head coach could be numbered. While the coach of the 'Process' shockingly survived the transition going from tanking to competing, Brown just can't seem to fully turn the Sixers into a team that's viewed as legitimate NBA Finals contenders.
Now, that's not all Brown's fault. At the end of the day, winning championships is an organizational effort. The front office organizes the personnel, and the personnel plays the game. In a sense, Brown has become somewhat of a scapegoat for the Sixers' issues over the years -- but sometimes when goals aren't achieved, the coach has to take the hit.
Last season, Brown's firing seemed inevitable. Many believed if the Sixers failed to get past the second round of the NBA Playoffs, then Brown was a goner. Well, the 76ers failed to advance past Toronto and missed the Eastern Conference Finals for the second season in a row. Shockingly, Brown kept his job.
So this season, it seems the Sixers' head coach is back on the hot seat once again, and he's more than aware of the circumstances. The 76ers will make the playoffs if the NBA continues the season this year. But how far they make it in the postseason could decide whether Brown is going to stay in Philly or not beyond 2020.
And according to a former NBA executive, there's a belief that Brown's chances of remaining in Philly after this season concludes are quite slim. "The league-wide scuttlebutt is that Brown is unlikely to return [to the Sixers] after this season," John Hollinger told The Athletic's, Rich Hofmann.
More on that below:
"I have mixed feelings about [Brown's firing]. On the one hand, maybe it's time for these guys to hear a different voice. Seven years is a long time for an NBA coach in one place. On the other hand, you can't help thinking that he's the fall guy for other mistakes that were made over the past two seasons and one bad bounce in Toronto."
Fall guy or not, it's clear that there's a mixed bag of opinions regarding Brown. Look at two former players, for example. Former Sixers sharpshooter JJ Redick has praised Brett Brown over and over again since leaving the organization last summer. Redick has even gone as far as saying that Brown isn't the problem for the Sixers this season.
Meanwhile, the 76ers former star acquisition Jimmy Butler had the exact opposite opinion on Brown. The Miami Heat All-Star mentioned months ago that film sessions curated by Brown were often pointless, and the two seemed to have clashed behind the scenes as Butler strongly disagreed with Brown's decisions many times.
If the league-wide opinion is correct, and the 76ers eventually decide to terminate Brown's contract -- he reportedly won't have any issues landing a new job. And as for the Sixers' potential vacancy for the 2020-2021 season, Hollinger believes that "should be one of the league's most desirable jobs." So if and when a coaching search gets conducted, it won't be who can the Sixers get to coach the team -- the question will be can the Sixers get a coach to come in and do a better job than Brett Brown?
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_