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NBA Free Agency: JJ Redick says Brett Brown was the biggest factor in him joining Sixers

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Take a bow, Brett.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

JJ Redick’s decision to pop through Philadelphia for a season was huge for the Sixers’ front office, not only because it helps their young core, but because it serves as a statement of intent for their future plans. When some max-level players go through the free agency process next year, they can talk to a seasoned vet about his experience here, and see that the team is much closer than they were a couple years ago.

Apparently, the Sixers need to send Brett Brown an extra Christmas bonus, because Redick claimed the head coach was a massive factor in his decision during an interview with Business Insider:

There was a moment at about 1 a.m. on July 1st, we were actually at the practice facility and we were out on the court and we were just chatting. And all of a sudden, Brett Brown told Joel Embiid to go down in the post.

I was in, like, a blue blazer. And we started running post actions and then we started running pick-and-roll actions. And it was just fun to be around Coach Brown and see his passion for the game and kind of talk hoops with him.

Moreso than the one-year deal at the insane salary I got, I think Coach Brown was really the biggest factor in me going to Philly.

Before we go any further—quick salute to Embiid for being the recruiter we all knew he could be. Brush up on your Akron slang and red wine knowledge for next summer, big fella.

There have been some ups and downs with Brown and the fanbase during his time in Philly, but I think last season—the first one in which he had a full-ish roster of pieces to work with—showed that with the right tools, he can get the job done. It’s still fair to question his ultimate ceiling as a coach, just as you would question each of the team’s core players, but there were some real flashes last year, like the sets he drew up for several of last season’s dramatic, game-winning plays.

Setting aside the tactical stuff, Brown has proven himself a capable leader during the toughest possible times. The X’s and O’s are insanely important, but enough cannot be said about Brown’s ability to keep the locker room together and motivated, through injury issues and talent vacuums alike. You get the sense that his players would run through a wall for Brown, and in an era where the players wield more control than ever before, that’s a great quality to have.

It takes a special guy to maintain that level of pride within a team during lean years, and with more talent incoming, who wouldn’t want to jump on board? With how things are shaping up, you get the sense that a lot of people are going to see what Brett Brown and his team can really do this year, and it’ll have a domino effect on future opportunities.