Deeper Thinking: Brett Brown


The Philadelphia 76'ers have gone through some difficult years. "The Process." Some may have ridiculed them along the way, but I have been and continue to be impressed with one enormous component of The Process -- Head Coach Brett Brown. And what a job he did this year guiding the team to 52 regular season wins and into the conference semifinals!

I've had some personal interaction with Brett over the years but I've studied him from afar much more often. I have come to know Brett as a thinker...a deep thinker. It's a trait that always piques my interest. My observation is that Brett is not going to buy into an idea or a person without taking a deeper look into the truth of the situation, the person, or the factors in the decision he needs to make.

So many of us don't go to that extra level of thought, but I believe the best of the best do just that. Doc Rivers is a brilliant offensive mind, for example, and if you traveled with us on the planes and buses, you would see him constantly looking for a better action to run, a better set to take advantage of our players, or better player placement and spacing to make the play more effective. Seldom is his first diagram the actual play he puts in. He's always thinking.

Tom Thibodeaux, who was with us on our 2008 Championship Boston Celtics team, was the same way in his preparation. He thought through and prepared so thoroughly that he once bought a Tex Winter video to watch the Triangle, just in case he could pick up one cue that might help us beat the Lakers. That tape was made at least 10 years before we even played the Lakers! He studied it and dug deeper into what the Lakers had been running so effectively. He wasn't going to stop at the film of their games that year.

This deep thinking is one reason I tell young coaches to study Brett Brown. He's not going to settle for what he's been doing; he's going to look further. Here's an article on Brett that shows you why he's one I follow and try to learn from.

So whether it's your philosophy, the decisions you make, a plan for improving your health -- it all gets back to not settling for "just enough" information. Don't settle for the first and fastest thing you come up with. If it's important, it's worth putting in some work and extra thought.The best don't just settle. They almost always dig deeper to get the answers or the results. They understand that the best answers are often below the surface.

Wendy Eastman