• Jack Fleming

How ‘NBA Coach of The Last 5 Years’ Brett Brown Gets Things Done

In October 2017 Basketball Queensland Coaches Tour, myself and 5 other coaches we were fortunate enough to watch a Philadelphia 76ers practice followed by an 15 minute conversation with head coach Brett Brown. Coach was so generous with his time, sincere and a truly charismatic person.


Context — game next day playing Washington Wizards

15 Minutes Post Practice Questions


What are your thoughts on progressing your career as a coach?

- The best job you have, is the one you have now.

- Know your lane, know your place.

- Go into other practices, dive into film by yourself.

- Do things for nothing.

- The NBA is hard to get into, hard to get out of, if you do your job.

- Coaches who make players better have a weight of gold.


What is a phrase or quote that is important to you?

“I’d rather be trusted than loved.”


What’s your philosophy on coaching?


I am constantly asking, WMI, WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT?


1. Relationships

- Check on the wellbeing of your players.

- Know their family.

- Talk and touch every day, daily interaction.

- Why should they listen to you?

- Nobody understands relationships better than Pop.


2. Development

- We coach fundamentals everyday.

- They have to see they’re improving, or you aren’t doing your job.

- ‘I owe it to them, to teach them NBA basketball.’

- Each player receives a roadmap for the offseason: 1 thing for offence, 1 thing for defence, 1 thing physically for their body.

- I have coached jump stops, more than anything, all year long.


3. Leadership

- The opportunities to study leadership are unlimited.

- I love studying it outside the sport of basketball.

- It’s all about managing people.

- I see the world from a cloud, after studying Belichick I coached my assistants harder than anybody on the team.

- Set my staff up like NFL team: offence, defence, special situations.


How do you get better as a coach?

- Throughout the season I don’t have time, but I compile a book of any video, articles, plays, books, speeches I see and categorise them into the following

1. Offence

2. Defence

3. Philosophical

4. Miscellaneous

- At the end of the season I go through it all. WMI? If it’s not important or I won’t use it with my players I toss it out.

- 1/3 of our NBA season are static dead ball situations, that is on me to get right.


What does an NBA shoot around look like?

- Meet 90 minutes before with my staff

- Organise like an NFL team

- Delegation allows you to become a better leader, what is your zone of genius? What is your most important job?

- Ask my guys about the opposition — offensive guy, defensive, special situations

- 3 parts of shoot around: fundamentals, special situations, scout

- Chip Kelly: have a pop and pace to your practice, teach in film when you get on the floor it is go time.

- If you were blind, what would you hear at practice?

- Warren Buffett: JUST ZOOM IN, get something done. Less is more.


Team Improvement

- Critically assess my team with analytics, how can we win more games?

- An extra basket here or there is the difference between making the playoffs and not

- Viciously dissect what equals a few more wins

- Have a roadmap of success for each player. Turn goals into games, have winners and losers.

- Be yourself: If somebody was watching would it change the way you coach and delegate?


Book Recommendation

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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