Since Scott Brooks was hired as the Wizards' head coach, he has taken his time in regard to hiring his assistant coaching staff. Though Rex Kalamian -- one of his long-time assistants -- turned him down to stay with the Raptors, Brooks has moved on quickly. Former Nets interim head coach Tony Brown as his lead assistant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Tony Brown is finalizing a deal to become Scott Brooks' top assistant with the Wizards, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 11, 2016
Brown has been a longtime assistant coach for many NBA teams over nearly 20 years, spending time with the Trail Blazers, Pistons, Raptors, Celtics, Bucks, Clippers, Mavericks, and the Nets for the last two seasons.
While in Brooklyn, Brown was named their interim head coach when Lionel Hollins was fired midway through the 2015-16 season. He had an 11-34 record, but to be fair, the Nets were going through the initial stages of what will likely be a multi-year rebuild.
Before his coaching career, Brown was a swingman who played several seasons in the NBA and Europe.
Brown's hiring signals that the Brooks regime will be run by a staff of experienced NBA coaches who are willing to adapt to the modern NBA, which is more about pace and ball movement, unlike this guy below when he was watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals:
All this passing getting me mad— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) June 11, 2016
When Brown was named the Nets' interim head coach, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle showered one of his former assistants with praise. Carlisle also detailed how Brown adapted to the more analytical nature of the NBA as well, according to Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram:
During his time working for Carlisle, Brown saw how his mentor was able to adapt to the ever-changing NBA game, which is a must for a coach with championship aspirations.
"I would say probably more than anything he changed his style," Brown said of Carlisle. "The times we were in Detroit we were more of a walk- it-up team. We had guys we could throw the ball into that could command a double team.
"It was a fun time helping turn that situation around with Rick, and over the years as the game started to change as you saw him with his Dallas Maverick teams it was much more flow, much more pace, and he’s kind of adapted to the times."
Brown was also interviewed in Price's piece. He acknowledged that basketball is more about "position-less basketball, much more in places like Golden State."
The Wizards wanted to become a more analytically-minded team when they moved on from Randy Wittman last April. Hiring Brooks was the first step in that direction. Brown's addition shows a further commitment to that.