Brown proud of Spurs' success

Brown proud of Spurs' success

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown admits he felt great pride watching Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA Championship last season.

Brown spent 12 long years at San Antonio as an assistant coach and played a huge role in the development of Mills and many other Spurs players before he took up his first head coaching job in the NBA with the struggling 76ers.

With the 76ers failing to make the playoffs after a disappointing campaign, Brown was left to watch on with a big smile on his face as the Spurs gained some revenge for their 2013 heartbreak by clinching the title against the Heat.

“More from just a human standpoint, when you see the people navigate through that gut-wrenching loss (last year) and come out bigger and better,” Brown said in an interview with The Advertiser.

“To see those people react that way, my 12 NBA years were with them and it was a hell of a story."

And the fact that two Australians - Mills and Aron Baynes - were part of the Spurs' triumph made it even more special for Brown, given he coached both players when he was in charge of the Australian national team late last decade.

“Patty Mills, you just see him and the thing that makes me most happy is we’ve shared in his journey," Brown said.

“He waved a towel in Portland, had the injury, the experience (playing) in China. I helped him get to San Antonio ahead of the Boomers (Olympic campaign).

“Then he finds a way to grab a position, then comes back in such great shape. You see his growth as a teammate and then to a legitimate piece of a championship team.

“You see it from A-to-Z.”

While Brown admitted he still keeps a close eye on the Australian national setup, his main focus remains on improving the 76ers as they enter their second season under his watch.

Brown said his first year in Philadelphia had been a difficult one, but he remains committed to helping rebuild the franchise and making them a contender once again.

“Our owners are very committed to building this patiently and slowly," he said.

“It’s by far the most challenging coaching job I’ve ever had.

“Sixty-three times I had to go into the locker-room and talk to the players (after a loss) and that’s 63 times you have to face the media.

“The plan is going to pay dividends but I’m coaching a bunch of 20-year-olds."

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