As everyone knows, Hinkie made an offer to Brett Brown to coach our beloved Sixers. We all love Brett Brown, and we all love that he's not Michael Curry. I think we are generally agreed that having Brown as our next coach would be a Good Thing all the way around.
This is not what I'm writing about.
Honestly, I was OK with pretty much every non-Curry name on the extensive list of interviewees, and particularly the list of second-round candidates. They represent, individually and collectively, the kind of new, fresh thinking that this team so direly needs, and kudos to Hinkie for putting together such a solid collection of the right kind of candidates.
This is also not what I'm writing about.
Then what am I writing about?
The announcement we all received, by way of WojBomb, was that the Sixers had offered Brown the head coaching position. I've never before heard of such a thing. Obviously, coaches get offered jobs all the time. But generally, we don't hear about it, via WojBomb or otherwise, until the deal is completed and the candidate and team have already agreed on terms of a contract. Given how tight-lipped Hinkie & Co. have been since taking over, it seems odd that any such information would get out until such time as it was at least semi-official that Brown would be our next coach.
Because it's almost 5PM on a Saturday afternoon, and I've already taken my kid to the pool, the park, and the running track (he wants to be a distance runner, which is an interesting ambition for a seven-year-old, but since it's exercise, it's one I'm encouraging), and I'm bored out of my mind, I find myself wondering what it all means. Why would Hinkie allow it to get out that an offer had been made before it was accepted? Why, assuming Brown or his agent or one of his "people" was the source for the WojBomb, did he feel the need to get it out there than an offer had been made, but not yet accepted?
Particularly when accompanied by Marc Stein's later announcement that Brown had indeed been offered the job, but that his "people" were urging him not to take it because the Sixers were going to lose 60+ games this season (Yeah, baby! #Welcome4Wiggins!!) and having that on his resume would be bad for his career, and perhaps he was being used as a temporary punching bag for the crappy team he would be putting on the floor this season.
There are a lot of reasons why that's idiotic. Why hire a player development guy and not let him develop the young players you're bringing in? If all you're looking for is a guy to put on a suit and tie and lose games to no end, why not use one of the three or four coaches you're still paying to coach who isn't, in fact, coaching for you? Any one of Cheeks, Jordan, Collins, or Curry could certainly keep his clothes off the floor while the team loses. OK, I'm pretty sure they're not still paying Cheeks, and I'm not sure about Jordan, but why fire Doughie? He's under contract and can pretend to coach. If not, why not Curry? He is definitely capable of wearing a suit, and the team might even learn a little defense while they're at it. Why go through all the effort of multi-round interviews if you're not looking for the One True Coach? You don't have to work that hard to find a placeholder. Hell, I'd do it in a second. I have no concerns about losing 75-80 games and having that on my resume. I'll just go back to being a lawyer after my year at the bottom. It's all good. Clearly, if they're going to this much trouble to get Brown, Hinkie feels Brown is The Man to lead the team into its (hopefully) glorious future.
The thing is, these are both extremely intelligent men. They both know all these things. So why the concern? And why the public airing of such a ridiculous concern to Stein? I guess it could all just be about Brown posturing to get more money, but that seems somehow...unsophisticated, I guess, as a bargaining tactic. Maybe Hinkie only wants to give him three years guaranteed money, and Brown wants four. But this all seems kinda silly to allow out in public.
Perhaps if it's just posturing for money, it's at least slightly understandable from Brown's side. But here's my problem with all this: Why on Earth would Hinkie gamble on someone who isn't thrilled to have the job? The repercussions are potentially huge.
Let's say, hypothetically, that for some reason, Brown decides to listen to his people and not take the job out of concern for his long-term career reputation. That would certainly get out there, and the entire coaching and playing world would know about it. So, no worries, you say, Curry is still under contract for a year, and as we've previously mentioned, he's perfectly capable of wearing a suit and standing by the bench, and he might even help the young guys develop defensively. So we're good for this season. And Stein has mentioned that Curry is indeed Plan B for this year.
But what happens next year? Curry has just presided over a 3-79 disaster, so his head coaching career is pretty much over, and his contract is up. So they assemble the usual suspects, the hot young Turks of the assistant coaching community, but no one is at all interested in captaining the Titanic, because they don't want to get the stench of an historically bad team all over them. So there is no coach at the time of the draft (again). But wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the ping-pong balls have for once fallen our way, and our reward for a season of the Most Putrid Basketball Ever Played is one Andrew Wiggins. But wait. Wiggins sees a team that no one wants to coach, that just lost more games than any in NBA history, that has nothing but crap players and guys who could maybe be OK someday possibly (Noel, mostly). Let's face it, a 3-win team is pretty much of a toxic disaster by definition. And Wiggins, being a relatively bright guy by all accounts, doesn't want to be a part of it. So, like Kobe Bryant before him, he decides he's going to force a trade to a halfway decent team where he can be part of something special. But since Wiggins holds basically every card here, they have to trade him, and given their lack of leverage, they won't get much of anything for him...maybe Royal Ivey (on an expiring) and a second-round pick. So all that tankage and all of Hinkie's wheeling and dealing would have been for nothing. A little cap space (when no free agents want to sign here) and a throwaway pick in the 50s.
So. All that young talent we were supposed to get isn't coming, and we still don't have a coach. At this point, Hinkie will have to hire anyone who might possibly say yes (you know who I mean). There is a ton of cap, but no one to spend it on. So you have a team led by Nerlens Noel, MCW, and Thad Young. So another 3-5 win season to start off the Vinny Del Negro Era, leading to another Top 3 pick who doesn't want to play here, now that Wiggins has set the precedent, leading to another expiring contract and another throwaway second-rounder. Lather, rinse, repeat.
By the end of the Five Year Plan, Harris can't wait to dump the team and concentrate on the Devils, who have won consecutive Stanley Cups. Leaping into action, the guy who wanted to move the Kings to Seattle makes a bid that rocks his socks off. There is no general outcry in Philly, because, "Meh, it's the Sixers. Let them go. They just take up TV coverage that could go to the Flyers. Who gives a crap? Josh Harris is a trader to Philly anyway and doesn't care about the fans. I'm more worried about how they're going to get rid of Ryan Howard's contract now that he weighs 500 lbs and can't swing a bat through the dimpled elbow flesh and sacky upper arms."
So. Basically, if Hinkie loses his gamble on Brett Brown signing here, welcome back the Seattle SuperSonics for the 2018 season.
Or maybe not, but it's a fun exercise, and like I said, I'm bored.
But I still don't get why Hinkie would want to bet the ranch on someone who doesn't particularly want to be here. It doesn't make sense.