Brett Brown is still the Philadelphia 76ers head coach at this very moment. And on Monday, Brown will coach the Sixers in their third-straight playoff run with a round one series against the Boston Celtics.
At the end of Brown's first playoff run in 2018, many were impressed with his ability to coach a young and inexperienced team to the second round of the playoffs. But in a 'what have you done for me lately' league, Brown needed to prove he could coach a team that's stacked with talent further than they've been before.
The Sixers' front office loaded up on star power throughout the 2018-2019 NBA season. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris joined a starting lineup containing notable players such as Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and JJ Redick. By the time the Sixers surpassed the trade deadline last year, many considered Philly to have one of the best lineups in the NBA -- creating no excuses for Brown to lead them to victory.
Once again, the Sixers were out in the second round. While they lost to the eventual NBA Champions on a buzzer-beater shot, it still seemed inevitable the Sixers were going to move on from Brown. Once again, though, Brown got himself another year to prove he can conduct a deep playoff run for the Sixers.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 NBA season, Brown mentioned he was gunning for the Eastern Conference's first seed. Before the NBA season suspended, the Sixers were ranked sixth and clearly underwhelming this year. While Philly received an eight-game schedule to try and improve their rank, a 4-4 run down in Orlando caused the Sixers to stay pat as the sixth seed in the East.
Now, barring any championship runs in the bubble, Brett Brown's job could truly be on the line as this year's playoffs approach. And as teams begin to make coaching changes around the league, ESPN's NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski suggests that many organizations will look at former Cavaliers Head Coach, Tyronn Lue. And one of those teams could potentially be the Sixers -- depending on what happens over the next few weeks.
"Once again, there are star-powered job openings in the NBA -- including Brooklyn -- and younger, talented rosters in New Orleans and Chicago. Based upon the playoffs, there are potential vacancies in Philadelphia and Houston. In all except for Chicago, Lue looms as a candidate."
"As much as any year in NBA history, nothing's for certain. Jacque Vaughn has made a strong case to stay as Nets coach, the Orlando restart buoying his candidacy. Philadelphia and Houston could go on playoff runs that keep those coaches on the job. There are no sure things in the marketplace, but make no mistake: In a league where the likes of Harden and Westbrook, Embiid and Simmons, and Irving and Durant could need a coach to command the room, the NBA's back in the Tyronn Lue business."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_