Brett Brown a coach at heart … even during break

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Brett Brown a coach at heart … even during break

After the Sixers’ 105-100 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, head coach Brett Brown recommended to his players to completely get away from basketball during the all-star break.

The funny thing is the coach won’t be taking his own advice.

Brown flew from Salt Lake City to San Antonio to spend the weekend with his family, who still makes Texas its home after the coach spent years as an assistant with the Spurs.

Upon arrival in the Lone Star State on Thursday, Brown had about four hours to get ready for basketball practice. Yes, practice at the Spurs practice facility with a group of children under 10 years old.

“The Spurs are just fantastic to me,” Brown said prior to leaving Utah. “I will come in and use their facility and I will coach those kids like I did for five or six years. I miss it.”

The team of children -- the Boomers -- will welcome Brown back with open arms, just as they always did when he would return from a Spurs road trip that forced his absence.

“The team is called the Boomers after the Australian Olympic team,” Brown said proudly. “My assistant coach named them and got fantastic uniforms, and I would run the practices and set up the structure. When I was out of town he would run the whole thing and it has been going on for six years now. I love doing that.”

When asked if he was the head coach, Brown’s mouth immediately formed a smile before he thoughtfully answered.

“I was the director and did about everything,” he said.

Brown has not always coached this particular group, but he has always coached Sam Brown. That’s Brett Brown’s 9-year old son, who is a crafty left-handed point guard.

“He hasn’t met a shot that he doesn’t like, which is a good thing,” Brown joked about his son. “He thinks Steph Curry and Kyrie (Irving) can dribble.”

Brown grew up the son of a coach with Bob Brown being a long-time high school coach in Portland, Maine, as well as being a coach at various college levels.

No matter where the stop on the map, Bob Brown was always a New Englander and that shaped Brett’s Brown’s basketball knowledge.

Brett Brown’s experience with his father was vastly different than what his son has come to know in his nine years. Being an assistant coach in San Antonio for his son’s entire life until this season has enabled Brett Brown to have Sam Brown around NBA players on a daily basis, including all-star weekend.

Brown was a Spurs assistant coach when the staff twice coached the West all-stars in 2005 and 2011. During that second time around, Brett Brown shared the weekend with his son.

“To be able to share the NBA game with my son Sam is just one of the true privileges,” Brown explained. “I can’t express how grateful I am. His version of my Portland, Maine point guard Terry Kenniston for him is Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving and Michael Carter-Williams. To be able to share that experience with your own son is a true privilege.”

Brown’s analogy is classic. As a young point guard he admired the play of Kenniston, who was named to the high school second-team All-Mainers in 1972. Seven years later, Brown himself was named first-team All-Mainers.

Brown won’t just be coaching up his son and other kids during the break. He also planned to spend quality time with his wife and two daughters during the long weekend.

It’s the perfect getaway from the Sixers’ tough 15-39 season.

“It is going to be one of those great weekends with my family,” Brown said.

Orthopedist on Sixers' Ben Simmons' injury: 'The prognosis is good'

Orthopedist on Sixers' Ben Simmons' injury: 'The prognosis is good'

On Friday, Sixers fans got some bad news when the team revealed that No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The Sixers didn't give a timetable for his return, saying that they were reviewing treatment options for the 6-foot-10 point-forward.

As a guest on CSNPhilly's Sportsnet Central, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Schwartz gave a little insight into Simmons' injury. Schwartz is not treating Simmons, but has dealt with similar injuries. Schwartz believes the prognosis is good for the Sixers' rookie.

"The big question is where the exact location of this fracture is," Schwartz said. "That will dictate the prognosis and the treatment. If it's at the base of the fifth metatarsal, it's usually a non-surgical treatment. It's usually a cast/boot for six to eight weeks and return to play somewhere around eight weeks."

That would be great news considering Sixers fans didn't get to see Nerlens Noel the year he was drafted and are still awaiting the debut of 2014 draft pick Joel Embiid. 

Schwartz warns that the injury could be something known as a Jones fracture, which would likely require surgery and the recovery could be three to four months. The prognosis would still be good, according to Schwartz, but other NBA players have had lengthy recoveries with a similar injury.

"The prognosis is still good, but we know that Kevin Durant had a Jones fracture and he was out for an entire season because of it not healing," Schwartz said. "But the prognosis is good, however, the question is whether it's going to require surgery or not."

For more from Schwartz on Simmons' injury and possible timetable, check out the video above.

Ben Simmons suffers fractured bone in right foot

Ben Simmons suffers fractured bone in right foot

As the Sixers get two bigs back from injury, another goes down.

First overall pick Ben Simmons suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot on Friday. Simmons rolled his right ankle during the team’s final training camp scrimmage at Stockton University.

Simmons underwent an X-ray and MRI on his right foot and ankle. Sixers head physician Dr. Christopher Dodson and Sixers chief medical officer and co-chief of sports medicine orthopedics at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center Dr. Jonathan Glashow reviewed the images.

Simmons’ timetable to return is to be determined. The Sixers are considering further medical evaluation and treatment options. 

Landing the No. 1 pick and selecting Simmons was the highlight of the Sixers’ next chapter. They were supposed to be healthy this time around as they entered a new phase following a 10-72 season. 

The news of the fracture adds to years of injury-related setbacks. Nerlens Noel missed his entire rookie season rehabbing from an ACL injury. After undergoing two foot injuries in as many years, the 2014 third overall pick Joel Embiid is slated to make his NBA debut Oct. 4 against the Celtics in preseason action. Jahlil Okafor is also expected to play next Tuesday for the first time since his season-ending knee surgery in March. 

The Sixers drafted Simmons to become a focal point of their system. At 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, he is a point-forward with the potential to change the look of a lineup. During training camp Brown experimented with multiple combinations, including playing Simmons at the point, shooting guard and small forward. 

Brown called the two-three combination of Simmons and Dario Saric “6-10, do-alls” (see story)

Simmons, 20, impressed his teammates during camp. In just four days of practices, it was easy for them to see how Simmons would improve the Sixers. 

“He’s really physical,” Joel Embiid said. “He’s just a big presence. When he pushes the ball, you can feel it. He makes you want to go with him. … He’s so fast and he’s so big.” 

Said Nerlens Noel, “He just plays basketball the right way. When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."

The Sixers will be faced with filling a role they haven’t actually had yet. They had gameplans of how to utilize Simmons, but they were implemented only in training camp. The Sixers have a frontcourt logjam which will allow them to plug in other players at the power forward spot. They also can fill his experimented role on the wings with traditional shooters. But his absence will eliminate versatile lineups in which players are essentially “positionless,” a Warriors-style of play that causes mismatches of size and skills. 

Even though the Sixers have an abundance of bigs, Embiid and Okafor will be monitored for minutes at the start of the season. Throw in Simmons’ injury and this creates opportunities for other frontcourt players such as Richaun Holmes and Elton Brand. With Simmons absence, there also could be more minutes for Saric to play his natural position at power forward. 

Simmons wasn’t letting himself get too far ahead as he entered his first NBA season. He has been taking each day one at a time with an excitement of the newness of his rookie year.

“I think it’s still surreal for me,” Simmons said on Media Day. “I think it’ll finally hit me once I step on the court matched up against OKC the first game.”

Now it remains to be seen when Simmons will play his first game.