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.