Oh my. Shots, they are fired. Not even a Matt Damon reference made to soften the blow as Bill Simmons responds to a report that Brett Brown will rest Joel Embiid tonight.
Here’s the thing: I dumped all over Simmons last year when he insinuated before the season that Markelle Fultz seemed like an immature buffoon, this just months after he unabashedly talked him up as the number one pick in the draft. Chalk that one up to Simmons.
Now he’s coming for Brown.
Whether or not you like Bill Simmons, the Celtics fan-boy, he is genuinely well-connected in the NBA and knows the game as well as any. He is able to cut through the progressive hipster crowd that covers the Association like it’s a hybrid between a TI-83 and their favorite medieval binge-watch and assess the actual dynamic between players, coaches, execs and the media. My guess is his shot at Brown contains both opinion and some inner-circle chitter chatter from league folks.
Is it fair?
I’m not sure this specific charge is warranted, but we’re well into the it’s time to judge Brett Brown period of the process– and the returns are quite mixed. A players’ coach who has done wonders to develop role players, Brown has ably, commendably and likably performed his duties. But. The Sixers certainly have the talent and roster to compete and defeat the best the East has to offer, and yet they continually come up short. His maddening stubbornness in attacking superior defenses, blown leads, and mixed success at best in late-game situations, are all now genuine issues worth considering. No coach is perfect and, quite frankly, we don’t have much of a history watching competitive NBA basketball over the course of 82 games (good teams have bad losses all the time), but there’s a pattern of being outmatched in certain situations, and Brown is the common denominator.