Brett Brown Ready for Next Stage of Rebuild After Loss in Finale


CHICAGO -- When the final buzzer sounded Wednesday evening, Brett Brown felt it was time.

The Sixers had fallen to 10-72, the second-worst record in NBA history, with a 115-105 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center (see Instant Replay).

The season marked by losses and injuries was done. The third year of "The Process" was done, and along the way Sam Hinkie resigned. The conclusion of the past 82 games marked the start of a new phase.

"You feel like the season is appropriately coming to an end," Brown said. "It's time to move on."

The Sixers had led the Bulls by 24 in the first half. In the second half, they trailed the Bulls by 19. They were outscored 35-13 in the third quarter and lost control of the game. The ups and downs of the finale were representative of the play all season.

On any given night, the Sixers could get bogged down in a double-digit deficit and threaten a comeback in the fourth. They pushed the Warriors to the final 0.2 seconds in January). Conversely, they have been up big and squandered what looked like a locked-in win.

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"I feel like what you saw tonight has happened a lot in that there are droughts," Brown said. "I feel like what we've seen mostly as a team has been erratic play, not steady play. We're either really good or really poor."

Brown will digest the season -- the injuries, the front office changes, the wild ride of coaching a team barely out of college -- and address the media again on Thursday back in Philadelphia. Then, he said, he will be able to better assess this year, one that began 0-18 (tied for the worst start in league history) and tumbled to 1-30.

He is confident the team will be able to take more than 10 wins from everything they went through this season.

"I think that the city and the coaching staff, some of those players in there will look back on this experience and this time as most definitely one that was learning, just not one that was reflective of winning," Brown said. "I think in hindsight we'll be far better able to judge what really happened down the road."

The Sixers are parting ways for the offseason. Some will stay in Philadelphia to work out and rehab, others will go to their homes for the summer and train there. Brown will get down to work with newly-appointed president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo to begin reshaping this roster.

Brown could look back on the 2015-16 Sixers squad for the drain of its 72 losses. But for the coach who has offered his support and enthusiasm amid their struggles, he will think of this team for other reasons.

"I will remember them for perseverance," he said. "I will remember them for staying together. I will remember them from coming back all the time from huge deficits and trying to throw final punches. That will be memory of this group for me."

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