Interminable Sixers Coaching Search At An End: It's the Spurs Guy

Interminable Sixers Coaching Search At An End: It's the Spurs Guy

At the draft a month and a half ago, erroneous reports (which we played our part in further circulating) surfaced that the Sixers had hired former Spurs assistant and Australian national team head coach Brett Brown to succeed Doug Collins as the Ballers' new fearless leader. A month-and-a-half after that story was debunked, and after 2/3 of the assistant coaches in North America were interviewed for the position, Sam Hinkie has finally made his selection...and it's former Spurs assistant and Australian national team head coach Brett Brown. Good looking out, Hink.

Update: Marc Stein is now reporting that colleagues are trying to talk him out of accepting the job. Shut up, coaching dudes.

What do we know about Brett Brown? Not much, but Rich Hoffman of Liberty Ballers apparently knows some things, and the following takeaways from his recent profile on BreBro seem noteworthy:

1. He has a stellar reputation for player development, having served as director of player development for San Antone from 2002-2006--which, for what it's worth, was the period when two late draft picks in Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker first became perennial All-Star candidates and likely future Hall-of-Famers. Sixers are gonna need a healthy dose of young-dude whispering over the next half-decade, so that's good to know.

2. He's a pretty worldly dude, having found his way to the Australian national team after taking a post-basketball backpacking trip across the land down under. Having a good working knowledge of international hostels doesn't necessarily make you a basketball genius, natch, but hey, the two best coaches of the last quarter century (Phil Jackson and Brown's old boss Gregg Popovich) were both pretty cultured dudes, so maybe there's something to that.

3. He has a really thick Boston accent. Don't quite know what to think of that, to be honest, but it should make for some entertaining post-gamers, at least.

Hoffman also points out that if Brown takes after Pop, he'll also be smart enough to stay out of the way of the team's tanking effort--as the Spurs did in '97 in order to land Tim Duncan--which is also probably a good thing.

In the end, my analysis of this coaching move is the same as it was six weeks ago: Brown has the word "Spurs" closely associated with his name, so good hire by default. You can't exactly translate stats across coaching gigs, so we'll just have to wait and see what the Brett Brown era brings us, but I'm more optimistic than not. Go smart Sixers.

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Shady McCoy hung up on the Pittsburgh media after party question

Eagles fans likely yearn for LeSean McCoy's days in Philadelphia. Not only is Shady still beasting on the field for the Buffalo Bills this season, he's also entertaining per usual off of it.

The latest instance comes thanks to the Bills matchup this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the pro team in the city where Shady spent his formative years.

A Pittsburgh reporter, for some reason, decided to ask Shady about that infamous "females only" party he was going to host. You remember that one, don't you? The "no weird orgy thing" one?

Shady would eventually go on to cancel that party and plan another one DJ'd by Donald Trump -- the dude was ahead of his time.

But that doesn't mean he wants to talk about it all.

To be fair, who really wants to talk to the media anyway?

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

Phils lose LHP in Rule 5 draft, exit winter meetings balancing present with future

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The winter meetings ended Thursday morning with the Phillies sitting out the Rule 5 draft. The Phillies’ roster was at the 40-man limit and that prohibited the team from making a pick.

The Phils did lose one player in the draft as reliever Hoby Milner was selected by the Cleveland Indians. 

Milner, who turns 26 in January, is a left-hander who recently switched to a side-arm delivery. He had a 2.49 ERA in 49 games at Double A and Triple A in 2016.

Milner was eligible for the draft because he was not protected on the 40-man roster last month. The Indians selected him for $50,000. He must stay in the big leagues all season or be offered back to the Phillies for $25,000.

Andrew Pullin was a player the Phillies feared losing, but they hung on to the lefty-hitting outfielder. Pullin, 23, hit .322 with a .885 OPS between Single A and Double A in 2016. A late-season elbow injury prevented Pullin from playing in the Arizona Fall League and factored into the Phillies’ decision to leave him unprotected.

The Phillies selected one player, infielder Jorge Flores, in the minor-league phase of the draft. Flores had been in the Toronto system.

The Phils lost one player, 25-year-old pitcher Jairo Munoz, to Tampa Bay in the minor-league phase. Munoz pitched in the low minors in 2016.

With the winter meetings behind them, Phillies officials will head back to Citizens Bank Park to complete the construction of their 2017 roster. So far this winter, the Phils have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and added outfielder Howie Kendrick and relievers Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek and David Rollins.

Remaining on the Phillies’ to-do list is adding a backup infielder – Andres Blanco could return – and deciding whether to pursue a veteran hitter to play a corner outfield spot or give an opportunity to a young tandem such as Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr. 

General manager Matt Klentak spoke often during the week about that balance he is trying to strike between improving the 2017 club while keeping intact long-range goals.

“Successfully balancing the present and the future is the single greatest challenge that a baseball operations department faces,” Klentak said. “We’ve talked about it all offseason. The decisions that we are making right now about giving playing time to a young player that has cut his teeth in Triple A and needs that opportunity to take the next step as opposed to a shorter-term solution from the outside – that’s one of the main challenges that we’ve run into this offseason.”

Time will tell which way the Phillies go on this matter.