Per SI and several media outlets, the Sixers have hired now former Spurs assistant Brett Brown as head coach. Fate prevailed and "coaching circles" fell short-- whatever the hell those may be.
(Do you think it's maybe a coaching gossip circle? I'm intrigued).
For a full background check on Brett Brown, check out Rich Hoffman's in-depth look at his career as a coach.
In short: the highlight of his coaching career came during a five-year stint, from 1993-1998, with the North Melbourne Giants of the NBL, Australia's National Basketball League. In 1994, he led the Giants to a national title and also won NBL Coach of the Year. On that national championship team, and a member of the Giants until Brett Brown left for San Antonio in '98, was 29 year-old rookie starting point guard Darryl McDonald.
A versatile, tall guard, standing 6'5 and 196 lbs., McDonald was a relentless slasher, a generous point guard and a strong rebounder. On defense he nabbed a ton of steals as well.
Newly drafted point guard Michael Carter-Williams stands at 6'6 and weighs in at 185 lbs. He also scores most of his points at the rim, while also rebounding well and dishing often. This past season at Syrcause, he nabbed three steals per contest.
McDonald came into the league with a broken jumpshot - he shot under 25% from three point range in his first three years in the NBL. Under Brown he improved, and in 8 of his final 11 seasons in the NBL he shot over 28% from long range, and shot 35% from behind the arc twice. Yes, I know that that's still awful, but 10-15% improvement can't be ignored.
Scouts say MCW has all the components of a good jump shot - good form, elbow in, hand not on top of the ball, etc. - except for his release point, something easily fixed at a young age if addressed immediately. He shot 29% from long range during his sophomore season at 'Cuse.
McDonald was notably careless with the ball when he entered the league. In his rookie season, despite his team winning the championship with him running point, he averaged a whopping 5.6 turnovers per game. He had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8:1, with 10 assist per game. By the time Brown had left North Melbourne, his turnover numbers had gone down to 3.9, a 30% decrease.
In his sophomore year with the Orange, MCW possessed a 2.2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, surrendering the ball 3.4 times per game.
Although the competition in the NBL is drastically lower than that in the NBA, Darryl McDonald left behind quite the legacy in the league. Following Brown's departure, he won two more titles in the league as a starting guard and was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame.
What can you take away from this other than the fact that Australian basketball players with unimpressive career stats can make the hall of fame? That a player on the Sixers with a raw skill set now has a coach who's helped develop players like him.
It's easy to take that with a grain of salt - and probably wise to do so - but it's striking nonetheless.
All Darryl McDonald statistics are per the Sporting Pulse Sports Network.
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