Billy come late-ly: Why Phladelphia 76ers GM Billy King needs my phone number
Unlike the majority of times I’m writing about the Philadelphia 76ers, I didn’t initially sit down to write this column to rip another one of their player, coaches or front office personnel, buit after hearing the Sixers most recent attention-grabbing headline news, I almost literally became sick to my stomach with news of the belated transactions the 76ers have made recently when I suggested these very same moves to the Sixers and President and General Manager, Billy King, as well as the general public, before this season even began in the case of Hall of Fame head coach, Larry Brown – and years ago concerning the mercurial Allen Iverson.
To prove my point, I had to go back into my archives to retrieve my column concerning why I thought the Sixers needed Brown so badly.
Here is a portion of that column which ran in numerous publications nationwide just prior to the beggining of the regularseason.
You know, the more I think about it, I genuinely believe that the Philadelphia 76ers should gout out on a limb and rehire former head coach, Larry Brown to take over their once again, floundering franchise.
I came to the indisputable conclusion that the Sixers would best be served, by demoting current head coach, Maurice Cheeks, back to the title he once held as Brown’s assistant.
I know the move may not be popular to many Philadelphians who are enamored with Cheeks because of his past ties as a player on the Sixers’ last championship winning team way back in 1982-83, but it really is the best move to get the Sixers back on the road to respectability.
Brown would immediately transform the style of basketball the team currently plays, which, to be honest about it, is a totally clueless – and lackadaisical – brand of basketball, that hadn’t been seen in these parts since before Brown’s arrival, but is now back in full force.
Brown would also teach many of the Sixers young players, how to, as he is fond of saying, “play the right way.”
If the Sixers did lure Brown out of his forced retirement, it would also mean that general manager, Billy King has finally made a competent transaction – finally. King has been just abut atrocious in his role for the Sixers,
Brown’s arrival would also give Cheeks another few seasons to get a backbone, something he is sorely lacking as a head coach. To put it mildly, Cheeks may be a fine X’s and O’s guy, but he lacks the command and authority Brown would immediately arrive with.
I think many of the same players who give Cheeks half-hearted efforts in many games, would be forced to either hustle on every play or sit next to Brown on the bench for extended periods until they got their act together.
I know demoting Cheeks would neither be a popular move or even one he may want to go along with, but nevertheless, it is the correct move for the Sixers, who have now lost a major portion of the fan base that superstar Allen Iverson so easily attracts – on the road now.
I think Brown could legitimately have the Sixers back in title contention in three years, which is about perfect for both himself and Iverson. Of course, the Sixers would have to overhaul their roster (by moving Webber first) but Brown does have some players who would fit his style to a tee, including the athletic Iguoadala and first-round draft pick, Rodney Carney, who is a defensive oriented player by nature anyway.
The bottom line is this. If the Sixers want to continue floundering around aimlessly while winning less than 50 percent of their games, then they should stay their current course.
However, if they are interested in returning to their former winning ways, they need to swallow their pride and make Brown an offer – and I’m not talking about $10 million a year either.
As far as Allen Iverson is concerned, I don’t need to provide proof of my feelings because I’ve gone on record on numerous occasions both in print and on the air, to say that, in order for the Sixers to really improve in the future, that they would inevitably have to trade their most valuable (only?) commodity.
Having said that, the reason I decided to write this column at all is because, while the Sixers possibly rehiring Brown in some sort of advisory role and trading Iverson to the Denver Nuggets may be big news nationally, it is little more to me than King following through (sort of) on my suggestions, a day late and a dollar short – and making another mistake by hiring Brown in an advisory capacity.First off, the Sixers didn’t hire Brown to coach again like I suggested. I firmly believe that, in order for the Sixers to improve, especially season and beyond, that they should hire Brown to sit on the bench again and not in some cushy office making franchise-altering decisions.
Most people may not know it, but I have always said that Larry Brown, the coach has a worst enemy and it’s Larry Brown the GM.
One day Brown loves a specific player and the next, he’s ready to trade the very same player.
If you ask me, I’d say the last place you want Brown is in the front office making basketball related decisions, but then again these are the Sixers and King certainly isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.
I’ve offered my services more than once and now I refuse to give the team credit for their recent transactions – until further review. However, I will say that I genuinely believe I could have fixed the Sixers prolems years ago and that King’s lasest transactions don’t impress me one iota, which is why I’m going to bail out the beleagured King by giving him my telephone number and expert advice (it sounded good).
Are you listening Billy?
Eric Williams is a sports columnist for the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, and Sr. NBA analyst for basketball.com as well as a nationally syndicated freelance writer for both, print and online publications who can be heard weekly on BetUs.com radio at 2:15 eastern each Wednesday.