Sixers Coach Sends Player to Minors for Being Out of Shape

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown is sending Arnett Moultrie to the minor league Delaware 87ers.

Jan 6, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown during the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Sixers 126-95. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Since a 3-0 start the Sixers have been, as advertised, one of the worst teams in the NBA. But there is hope about the near future of the franchise, and one of the reasons is new coach Brett Brown. There’s a lot to like about him. He was an assistant to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from 2007 to 2013 before becoming Sixers coach. In interviews he sounds like one of the smartest basketball minds you’ll hear.

And he seems to stay true to his word, too. When he arrived as coach of the 76ers, literally all he could talk about was getting in shape. He wasn’t going to take any guys who couldn’t run up and down the court on his basketball team. “As a professional athlete, it’s your responsibility to get in great shape,” Brown said at the time. He’s right! Pro athletes should be in the best condition they can get themselves in — it’s their job. Brown called being in shape “non-negotiable.”

The Inquirer‘s Bob Ford writes that Brown is sticking to his words. Four months after ankle surgery, Arnett Moultrie has been sent down to the Delaware 87ers.

“What a great thing that we have an NBDL team just 30 minutes down the road,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said.

Moultrie might not agree with how great it is, but that is where he will be spending his time until he reaches the fitness level that Brown demands. Apparently, four months after ankle surgery, he isn’t really close.

“We’re adamant on what we think is best for the players,” Brown said before Wednesday night’s game. “It’s not a punishment. It’s not a scolding. It’s helping professionals be professional. He’s a 23-year-old who wants to play, and we want to get him in shape, and life moves on.”

The injury means it’s not entirely Moultrie’s fault he’s not in the best shape, but Ford also notes Doug Collins complained about Moultie’s fitness last year.

The Sixers are 15-35, the third-worst record in the NBA. They play the 17-32 Lakers Friday night in South Philadelphia. A 2001 Finals rematch, only with worse players!