Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown officially resigned as the Australian national basketball team head coach on Tuesday.
Brown, both due to his uncertain coaching future in the NBA and the COVID-19 pandemic, informed Basketball Australia that he won’t coach the Boomers in the upcoming Olympics after all.
“The uncertainties around the direction of my professional future unfortunately mean that I cannot commit to the time and preparation that this job deserves and requires,” Brown said in a statement, in part. “The difficulties around traveling internationally with my family during the pandemic have also contributed to my decision … This was a difficult decision which did not come easy.
“My past experiences with the current Boomer players are among my most memorable as a coach. To coach the Boomers was a privilege and an honor. I will work closely with Basketball Australia in any way that I can to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
Brown resigns shortly after fired from 76ers
Brown was fired from the 76ers in August, one day after the team was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. He had just finished his seventh season with the team, where he racked up a 221-344 overall record.
The 59-year-old led the team to the playoffs the past three seasons after bringing them back from the bottom of the league, but never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals and reportedly struggled to maintain control of the locker room.
Brown has worked with the Australian national basketball team for decades, first in the 1990s. He was hired as their head coach for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo last year. The games were postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus, however, something that will now undoubtedly interfere with the upcoming NBA season.
"Basketball Australia is naturally disappointed that Brett is no longer able to commit to being the Boomers' head coach for the delayed Tokyo Olympics, but we fully understand Brett's situation, and appreciate his candidness when informing us of the decision," Basketball Australia CEO Jerril Rechter said in a statement.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a challenging environment for all sports in which to operate. The Tokyo Olympics is an important event for Basketball Australia and our male athletes, as collectively we believe the Boomers have an excellent opportunity to claim their first-ever Olympic medal.
"Basketball Australia will commence recruitment for this position in the coming period, with details of the process to be released in due course."
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