“Accountability” is a buzzword at the moment for the Sixers.
Josh Richardson thought there wasn’t enough of it under Brett Brown, who was fired as head coach on Monday, and general manager Elton Brand was asked several questions about it during a conference call Tuesday with reporters.
“I think that accountability starts at the top of the organization, it starts with me,” Brand said. “I have to hold myself accountable in how to push these guys, how to push this group. The new coach, also, they’re going to have to find that balance on how to push these All-Star players to that next stage. It’s a great question. It’s not a collegiate level where you pull a guy, curse them out — or maybe it is, and that’s what we have to figure out, and we have to find that balance.”
As for Richardson, Brand said the Sixers addressed his comments in an exit interview.
“He respects Brett,” Brand said, “but the feedback is important from all the players. What exactly he meant by that, whether it’s what we talked about with a coach pulling you to the side and cursing you out — what gets the best out of the players? What gets the best out of certain players with certain mindsets?
“We discussed it in his exit interview. He really respects Brett, as all of us do. He didn’t want it to be that sort of slight that got as much attention as it did.”
Meanwhile, former NBA veteran Bruce Bowen threw the word out there on Tuesday, saying in an ESPN appearance that there should be more accountability placed on Joel Embiid.
“I feel like if they would’ve had an invested superstar in Joel Embiid, things wouldn’t be this way,” Bowen said. “Somebody that takes ownership of (being) the go-to guy on that team, that comes into camp in shape, that understands that he has to make others better — that’s why he’s a max player. I think the accountability is not being placed where it should be, and we need to start holding superstars accountable to being better players on the floor.”
Bowen also talked about an occasion when Brown invited him to speak to the Sixers. He claimed Embiid “had a problem” with his advice to spend less time on Twitter.
Brand didn’t appreciate Bowen’s remarks.
“Joel Embiid is growing as a player and as a person,” Brand said. “I think he’s in the right spot. The way he led during this restart in this bubble — you don’t get to see the behind the scenes, but he was at every meeting, he was spearheading team events and he was pushing to do a lot better, and he wants to win and he wants to be in Philadelphia.
“Regarding Bruce Bowen, I really don’t know what he’s talking about. Usually, when you’re asked to speak at a meeting for a team, you don’t go and talk about it on ESPN. I’m sure he won’t be invited back to any of my meetings.”
Brand will be leading the Sixers’ search for a head coach to replace Brown and, it seems, considering the nuances of “accountability” for professional athletes. Bowen apparently won’t be near the team’s locker room anytime soon.
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