Celtics

What Brett Brown's firing tells us about state of Celtics, 76ers rebuilds

Celtics

The Process has officially failed Brett Brown.

The Philadelphia 76ers fired their head coach of seven seasons Monday, one day after the Boston Celtics swept them out of the NBA playoffs' first round.

Brown joined Philly in 2013 -- the same year Brad Stevens took the Celtics' head coach job -- and both coaches had to guide their teams through rebuilds.

One team took its "rebuild" to a far greater extreme, however.

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As NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh pointed out in his new column Tuesday, the Sixers have employed 102 players over the last seven seasons, the most in the NBA.

Brown has seen three different general managers -- Sam Hinkie, Bryan Colangelo and Elton Brand -- cycle through a steady stream of complements to the young duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. First, it was JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Dario Saric. Then it was Jimmy Butler, then Tobias Harris, then Al Horford and Josh Richardson.

No combination worked under Brown, however, as the Celtics ensured Philly never made it past the second round during the Maine native's seven-year Sixers tenure.

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As for the Celtics? They've had plenty of roster upheal under Stevens, replacing Isaiah Thomas and his overachieving supporting cast with big-name free agents like Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Horford, only to let Irving and Horford walk after a disastrous 2018-19 season and bring in Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.

 

Unlike the Sixers, however, Boston kept its front office intact with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge calling the shots. And two of Ainge's prized draft picks -- Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown -- have become franchise cornerstones around which the Celtics can continue to build. (You can thank Philly for Tatum, as the Sixers swapped picks with Boston in the 2017 NBA Draft to take Markelle Fultz instead.)

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Philly still has hope for the future as long as Simmons and Embiid are in town. But the constant churn of roster and front office turnover clearly has taken a toll on the Sixers.

After watching the Celtics dismantle the Sixers in Round 1, it's clear which version of "The Process" yielded more fruitful results.