You know that old adage, practice what you preach?
For Brett Brown, the importance of locking into a routine isn’t just something he urges from his younger players, it’s something he’s lived by since the moment he stepped foot in Philadelphia.
“Every one of my years I've been in Philadelphia, I do the same thing," he said. "Every game.”
From caffeine choices to afternoon jogs to nightly unwinds, let’s peel back the game day curtain for the Sixers head coach.
The morning starts early for Brown. Somewhere between 6 and 6:30 a.m., Brown makes his way over to the kitchen for his morning cup of joe. It is there that he is confronted with his first decision of the morning.
Coffee machine? Or Nespresso?
“Based on my mood and laziness, I choose one or the other. That, for sure, jump starts my personality,” Brown chuckles.
Brown enjoys "every bit" of his two coffees in the morning, just a splash of cream. It’s the first of many rituals to come for the sixth-year Sixers head coach.
It’s then, when no one is awake, Brown starts to set his mind for what he wants to get done.
Using a spatial kitchen table as his workspace, Brown opens up Dropbox links from his video coordinators, examining matchups and different offensive and defensive situations for the evening’s opponent, always with an emphasis on end-of-game scenarios.
Once his household starts to stir, Brown takes a break to spend time with his son in the morning before he heads off to school.
Then it’s back to that kitchen table.
Have you ever noticed that white piece of paper that Brown walks around with during games? It’s that piece of parchment that Brown starts formulating.
“You begin to think about in timeouts, how you're going to get Jimmy (Butler) the ball, or Joel (Embiid) the ball in plays you might want to go to, based on the matchup," Brown said. "It would be different, say, when you are playing OKC versus if you are playing somebody else.”
Sometime before lunch, Brown hops in his Jeep and heads to Wells Fargo Center, stopping at his office and spreading out his things on his desk, before heading back outside.
“I go for a run. Same run, everyday,” Brown says of his four-to-five mile jog, which includes a park near the arena.
Snow, rain, sleet or shine.
Well, except that one time …
“I think I've only missed one game, and that was a violent, like sleet storm,” Brown laughs as he gets confirmation from Sixers radio voice Tom McGinnis.
“Tell her about that one time you did an interview with Jim Rome while you were running,” McGinnis chimes in.
Brown even stopped to take a selfie for Rome that day.
“I feel worthless if I don't. I do it every game,” Brown says proudly, admitting that he really enjoys running in the snow.
Rumor has it, some have even spotted Brown running outside with socks on his hands to keep warm.
By 2:30 p.m., it’s back to work as all of the coaches gather for their coaches meeting. A 15-minute team film session precedes a 30-minute walk-through on the court.
Usually a shower finds its way in between the walk-through and the 5:15 p.m. media availability (Sometimes not).
“And if it's national TV, you just keep on going to other rooms, and then I sprint back to my office.”
It is there Brown "cleans up his world," changing into his suit and putting any last-minute touches on his game-day preparations.
“I don't feel as equipped to do my job unless I stick to that,” Brown says of his routine. “I just feel healthy and I feel organized.”
Then he heads out through the tunnel.
• • •
At some point after postgame media availability, going over stat sheets, meeting with coaches, and grabbing some food, Brown heads home.
He pops on the television — always world news, usually BBC — and tries to unwind.
And then there’s that one part of his routine that he, like most coaches, can’t control.
“The correlation of winning and losing influences sleep the most, but it's part of it," he said. "The night after a loss, the morning after a loss, it's terrible.”
Brown drifts off into a mumble about waking up to use the restroom in the middle of the night and replaying plays in his mind.
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I'm a normal dad that loves basketball that goes to see my kid’s games. I don’t sleep a lot," he said. "I work a lot. And I love what I do.”
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