After Brett Brown had finished answering all the questions and meeting folks from the local media and Sixers’ front office a tall fellow well dressed in stylish summertime clothing introduced himself to the new coach. “Hi coach. I’m World B. Free.” Suddenly it was as if Brown had been transported back to the Boston Garden in 1977. That’s where one could have spotted Brown with a camera trying to snap pictures of all his heroes. “World B. Free! You were my guy” Brown said after meeting the Sixers’ community ambassador. Brown said he felt quite humbled to be a part of the Sixers’ organization. While growing up in Portland Me. Brown rooted for the Celtics and the Sixers were always their biggest competition in the Eastern Conference. But like any student of the game Brown had plenty of respect for the Sixers. “To be here is surreal. I can still see Doc (Julius Erving) and (George) McGinnis and Mo Cheeks and (Andrew) Toney” Brown said during his introductory press conference on Wednesday “and I’m sitting there at the Garden with my Polaroid camera trying to get any shot I can.” Along with the guys he grew up rooting for (or against) Brown had a few potential Hall of Famers he helped groom with the Spurs. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are two players Brown played a role in developing. But defender extraordinaire Bruce Bowen was Brown’s guy. Now Brown has to learn who his guys are with his new team. So far Brown has an outsider’s perspective on the Sixers based on game planning against them two times a year. He knows all about Thad Young and Evan Turner while Spencer Hawes has a style that can present match-up issues. Those three players are the remaining veteran core of the Sixers and they will all be 25 on opening night. “I’ve always been a fan of Thaddeus. I see that potential in Evan. You pay attention to Spencer” Brown said. “The pieces that are in place are workable pieces. I look forward to working with them.” After that trio which has a combined 15 years of NBA experience the rest of the roster is even younger. Big man Nerlens Noel was the No. 6 pick in the June draft and won’t be able to play until December. Michael Carter-Williams the No. 11 pick is a raw talent with a shot that needs work. Returning is last year’s first-round pick Arnett Moultrie who is still just 22. Lavoy Allen 24 will be back for his third year in the league in what could be a make-or-break season. Then there is the enigmatic Royce White still only 22 who was acquired from Houston after the draft and Arsalan Kazemi the first Iranian drafted who will also be a project. The Sixers have a lot of youth not much experience and the most cash under the salary cap of any team in the NBA. In fact the Sixers are flirting with the salary cap floor which requires each team to use at least 75 percent of its cap space.
With new coach Brown, player development will be key
CSN Philly | Aug 19