On verge of infamous record, 76ers are 'fine,' Brown says

Brett Brown insists there is no need for panic, despite his team's escalating losses.
Brett Brown insists there is no need for panic, despite his team's escalating losses. (RON CORTES / Staff)
Posted: March 27, 2014

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The 76ers are the laughingstock of professional sports. They have been for weeks and have crept within one game of the NBA record for most losses in a row.

The league's new commissioner has taken notice.

"You don't like to see any team go through a losing streak like they currently are, or flirt with the longest losing streak in the history of the league," Adam Silver told reporters Monday in Charlotte, N.C. "That's bad for everyone. It's potentially damaging to the players involved and the culture they're trying to create."

Sixers coach Brett Brown said Tuesday that he respects the commissioner's opinion but added that Silver doesn't need to worry about the Sixers.

"We are fine," Brown said as the team prepared to play the Houston Rockets in what could be a record-tying loss Thursday at the Toyota Center. "We have this thing very much under control. There is no need for panic. My guys are great."

Monday's 113-91 defeat to the Spurs in San Antonio was the 25th straight loss for the Sixers (15-56). The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers set the record for futility. As the Sixers have closed in on the mark, the national media have climbed on the losing bandwagon.

The Sixers have been made fun of on ESPN's SportsCenter after their last three losses. NBA writers from out-of-town publications have been chronicling their losing streak.

Brown says being poked fun at has not affected him, nor has it bothered him.

"It hasn't at all," the rookie head coach said. "And I really mean this. . . . I disassociate myself [from] the reality of what's going on.

"We come into the room. We coach them up, and we get them going, scold them, and we love them.

"The streak to me is a ghost somewhere out there," Brown added. "But it's not something that we talk about. It's not something that we labor on."

The Sixers are sacrificing wins to get a top pick in the NBA draft. The rebuilding process should take three to five seasons.

The team has been up front about this season being about developing players and evaluating talent. So far, the Sixers have had 22 players see action in games.

The team purged veteran players at the NBA's trade deadline. Spencer Hawes was traded to Cleveland for Henry Sims, Earl Clark (who was cut), and two future second-round draft picks on Feb. 20.

On the same day, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen were dealt to Indiana in exchange for Danny Granger (whose contract was bought out) and a second-round pick.

"So I think when people really look at what we are doing, it was the youngest team in the history of the sport when we started," Brown said. "Then you trade those three [Hawes, Turner, and Allen] on trade night, you go to a whole other world."


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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