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.

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.