Aussies to bring back 76ers' Brett Brown as national coach

ByAdrian Wojnarowski, with AAP ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Australia is finalising an agreement with Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown for him to return as the Aussies' national team coach, sources told ESPN.

Brown will coach the Aussies in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on a roster that could include Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons.

The Australian team includes several NBA players, including Utah's Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, Cleveland's Matthew DellavedovaandSan Antonio's Patty Mills.

Brown was previously head coach of the Australian national team from 2009-2012, including a quarterfinals berth in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Brown had been an assistant coach for the Aussies from 1995 to 2003, including the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

He coached 14 years in the Australian professional league before joining San Antonioas an assistant in 2002. Brown is in his seventh season as the Sixers' coach, which has included consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Brown would replace Andrej Lemanis as coach.

Lemanis, coach of the NBL's Brisbane Bullets, has been the Boomers' coach since 2013.

It is a major turnaround for Brown who told AAP in January he does not "have any desire because of time more than anything" to coach the Boomers.

Brown, an American, began his coaching career in the NBL in 1988 under the great Lindsay Gaze at the Melbourne Tigers and moved on to helm the North Melbourne Giants and Sydney Kings.

In 2002 he moved to the States where he assisted Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs before taking the 76ers' head coaching position in 2013 and, after initial dismal seasons, turned the team into an NBA power.

Brown coached the Boomers at the London Olympics before stepping away to concentrate on his NBA coaching career.

Basketball Australia told ESPN it wouldn't comment on the Brown speculation.

"Basketball Australia would like to advise that at this time, no comment will be made in relation to the speculation surrounding the Australian Boomers," a spokesperson said.