Word play: How Sixers coach Brett Brown’s unique language drives success

PHILADELPHIA – Sixers coach Brett Brown has a way with words.

When he describes how he wants the basketball moving on offense, he says he wants it going from player to player "like popcorn popping."

When two teams are too friendly on the court, he says they're out there "brother-in-lawing with each other."

When he wants reporters to understand the essence of an answer, he says, "what you should hear the loudest … "

Descriptive. Concise. The creativity of a writer with an editor's gift for brevity.

"At this stage of my life, I value my voice because I'm worried my voice isn't as important as it once was," the 57-year-old Brown said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. "I have assistants, but when I speak, I try to get to the point. Less is more. How do I say it? You say it. If 'popcorn popping' is the way I want to say it, I say it. That works for me at this stage of my life."         

If you listen to Brown's news conferences frequently, you pick up on his sayings. They're not as much aphorisms in John Wooden fashion but more locutions – a particular form of expression or peculiarity of phrasing.

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