Mr stats
Years ago

An open letter to Brett Maher

Dear Brett,

I am just one of many 36er fans and have been since childhood. You came into the NBL when I was a child, and finished your career when I was an adult. I went to the games, bought your jersey, cheered for you in the crowds and spent countless hours arguing with kids in the schoolyard about how you where better than player a, b or c. I couldnt afford to go to the 94 grand final but it didnt stop me crying in my room when D-mac hit that runner against you in OT and it didn't stop me feeling like I was floating on air when the team laid the smackdown on the Magic in Melbourne Park in 98. As an teenager I had your poster on my wall from one on one magazine. I had a bit of a rough  childhood, one day I got up and left home with  few prized of them was your jersey. When I got older, got a job and started taking women on dates I'd always bring them to the Powerhouse/Dome/Arena and bring them into the magic that was a 36er game watching you nail that sweet mid-range jumper off the dribble.

The point of the above is thru the tough times of my life, thru my successes and everything in between the one constant has been my love of the club and the passion I hold for it. I know I'm not the only person who holds the same passion for the club.

As is evident for all to see right now the club is at rock bottom. The ownership situation is unclear, the coaches who are lame ducks right now are hostile to fans, ex players are getting on forums to vent and now we have fans arguing with each other. The club's once quite good media profile in SA is now laughable and the administration seems tired and unwilling to do anything different. The club right now needs a public figure who is an unifier, who the hardcore supporters and the casual fan can get behind. We need someone with no hidden agendas, with no plan to move on, to massage egos on the way to somewhere else. We need someone that the fans know that win, lose or draw feels the same passion for the club that they feel. The same want, same desire and same will to win that people who have followed the team all their life have.

There is one person, who when I think of those qualities I think of and that person is you.

I have heard rumors around town that you have already offered your services. I have also heard people say that's incorrect and you have no interest in coaching. I've got no idea if you will be a good coach, no one can know either way for sure. But I know you will care, about the club and about it's best interests. Every decision you make will be because you thought it's what is right for the club. I know the crowd at the Brett Maher court will be unified behind our most loved home grown product. I know just by you being there those in the crowd will be able to find our collective voice and cheer as one again.

If you are worried about your legacy being tarnished, don't be. Your legacy is secured. You are the club's greatest ever player. I love all the club legends, Davis, Green etc  but with all respect to the other guys you are # 1. Win or lose it will still be the Brett Maher court. Win or lose if I ever get to bump into you one day I was still be thanking you for working your arse off for the club. Win or lose you will still have my respect. Win or lose when I have kids one day and take them to the game and you walk past, I will still be telling them 'that man can hoop, no one could mess with him back in his day' and telling them stories about game 3 in 2002 where you just took over and almost dropped a triple double in a grand final decider. Or about when you webers on fire you would come off an on-ball, retreat dribble and turn and fire over both Scott McGregor and Derek Rucker like it's a lay-up in that first half. Your legacy will only be enhanced as you step up in your time of need.

You have played under Hurley at the AIS. You have played under old school Shipway with his flex offense, Monson, Dunlop and his strict  'tear it down and build it up' college philosophy. You've seen Claxton, a laid back Smyth with him spreading the floor with a four man who can shoot and good one on one guards. You've played for Brian G at the Olympics. You have plenty of different coaching philosophies to draw on.  And now you can see your peers in Anstey and Heal coaching with some success at NBL level.

If ever it is the right time to take the gig, the time is now. The fans will support you, casual fans will come back and we can stop all this fan on fan bickering and support our local hero. Your legacy will be one of a great player who stepped up when the club is in need.

If you don't think you are up to it, that's fine too. But if you want to give it a crack, don't worry about your legacy that's secured. Please Brett step up to the plate.

Administrators, if Brett approaches, please get it done.

Thank you for your time.

Topic #30801 | Report this topic

Years ago

Brett is running around in the background lobbying for the job. Credentials are there any besides being a loyal Sixers player and nice guy?

Reply #404059 | Report this post

Years ago

Any cost-issues aside, it would've been low risk to coach out the season, many games ago. Credentials include: might've done better than 1-13 across recent games?

Reply #404068 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

The Sixers need to move into a period of consolidation.

Brett would do well in the position and create a sense of excitement and urgency that would aid to bolster crowd numbers and corporate support.

Reply #404071 | Report this post

Years ago

I know several current players who cant believe from a purely marketing point of view that Brett Maher wasnt named head coach during this season. Players will say what ever has to be said for the media, but a 1 and 13 record wont get much genuine support, we are all human after all. Shocking decision not to make him coach at some point during this season.

Reply #404075 | Report this post

Years ago

Brett being a good guy and player does not make a him a good coach... It does not also make it an instant club.

I believe that we need to invest in a reputable coach and Brett would be a great media manager and liaison for the club.. But suits an off court role with the club.

If Brett wants the job he might need to say this publicly and not just behind the scenes. make it count and tell us why he deserves it and what credentials he has for coaching this national team....don't forget the coach is an employee to and this role should be publicly advertised and handled like any other job interview.

May the most qualified and proven coach win! We will all invest in credentials and a proven winner in this role.

Reply #404078 | Report this post

Years ago

Sums it up as usual. Some want him. Some don't and nobody knows for sure if he even wants to.

But it does prove regardless the club you so willingly want united will now be divided over if he should or shouldn't.

Not always convinced about the most experienced coach theory either. They usually come with a fair set of baggage.

Reply #404082 | Report this post

Years ago

Amen, would love Brett to be given a crack, we cant get any worse than 1-13 imo.

Brett if you are able to do it financially please offer to coach the rest of the season for free, just so the club can get rid of Clarke, im sure us as fans would pass a bucket around and put in $10 each to pay you something, if we get 5,000 people again, which we would with you as coach thats $50k.

Come on 36ers surely even if you had to offer Brett say 800 per week there arnt many weeks left, so wouldnt cost much, but would rejuvenate interest in the fan base and have us excited about the next season! Again pass the hat around the crowd, i reckon you would easily get several thousand of dollars donated by the fans just to get rid of Clarke and pay for someone like Maher.

Call it the 'Maher coaching fund' fans would be right behind it,

2 things basically all 36ers fans have in common, dissatisfaction of the current coaches and a huge love and respect for Brett Maher, even if they continued the losing run we would be so excited just to have Maher back involved for the remainder of the season.

Reply #404083 | Report this post

Years ago

Great heartfelt letter!

Hope it works :)

Reply #404092 | Report this post

agent 2 the stars  
Years ago

Great OP! Really heart felt, honest, inspiring words.

Some of your best writing, Boti.

Reply #404100 | Report this post

Years ago

Firstly, I so miss One on One magazine

Secondly, I thought you were asking Brett to be a spokesman and be seen in SA more and we can all agree that seeing our NBL stars past on present on TV too much is still never enough.

Thirdly, this made me sad thinking about how the uphill climb other teams like Hobart, Geelong and Newcastle have in trying to bring back their fans if they get back into the league as they have no Brett Maher and hopefully Leroy Loggins is still recognizable enough to get bullets fans back (his statue at Brisbane Entertainment Centre should stand for something)

Lastly, I thought your letter was brilliant and hope something comes of it

Reply #404115 | Report this post

Years ago

Please come back Brett.

Your first ever try at coaching will be a cut price NBL team that no one wants to play for.

You will also inherit front office instability and a lack of franchise financial security.

And good luck getting quality imports.

Reply #404135 | Report this post

Years ago

Afetr all the recent coaching problems have had in recent appointments, the Sixers fans want a guy who has never coached at any elite level to now coach a National team basically because he's a nice guy.

Your first ever coaching appearance could be 0-14 as well. As baller said, advertise the position and may the best applicant get get job.

Reply #404140 | Report this post

Years ago

Long term would be ideal and is the solution but needs to cut his teeth for a couple of years as an assistant. Everybody learns on the job to a degree, but you learn in basketball coaching by your mistakes (unless you are the incumbent duo). My fear is having never coached before there may be too many mistakes made. Mistakes that will not be able to be covered up with talent as it will be a budget team.
Do the time as an assitant to an established coach on the understanding there will be a handover ala Collingwood with Buckley.

Reply #404154 | Report this post

Years ago

Or surround yourself with what you lack and learn ala Hird.

The question is what describes the best applicant. A recycled semi successful, the environment is as much an issue as the team and the players. The best applicant line depends on what it is you need from that coach and what other resources are available.

Reply #404158 | Report this post

Years ago

^^ And what state the club is in currently. All the current coaches had to do was make the finals to keep the club and brand at the forefront. Didn't have to win it, just make the finals, that was the step that was needed. The club f'd up by going with an untried coach who hasn't delivered that. I don't think it's a wise decision to go that path again given the current situation the Sixers are in.

Reply #404160 | Report this post

Years ago

Here's one for you. Imagine if we changed out our coach 13 games ago. Then during this time we went 7-6 or 6-7. In hindsight that is a massive improvement on what we have done under Clarke, but not knowing what we do, would that have been enough to get that coach a long term contract next season and beyond?

Reply #404161 | Report this post

Years ago

So what current coach would solve this. Same old same old.

Wright, Joyce. Stacker. Smyth.

Not convinced any are the answer there either. Just because they have coached doesn't mean a lot. If they were still that good wouldn't they be coaching now. If not here somewhere else ???

Reply #404162 | Report this post

Years ago

Imagine you changed coach and we went 0-13

If we dont have the money to change coaches then having a go at them for that achieves nothing. Everytime it Is said that we should or we must doesn't mean we can afford it.

People knowing the clubs position still have a choice to attend or not. If the club doesn't have funds to make changes they don't have that choice.

I still think its ironic timing for the CEO to jump ship.

Reply #404166 | Report this post

Years ago

You are obviously not aware that Brett is concentrating on his tennis career. No longer has time for playing or coaching basketball.
I thought Paul Rees was brought back to town for a role?

Reply #404174 | Report this post

Years ago

If we changed coach and still went 0-13 (which i doubt would have happened) then we realise a couple of things?

1. the new coach isnt the man for the job going forward,

2. Maybe the playing roster isnt as good and we need a bigger shake up than we think.

Both are positive things to find out asap, so that we dont waste next season realising these things.

To me thats more reason you put Maher in as coach, as what you got to lose, we go 0-13 basically the same as Clarke, we dont waste a season or 2 on Maher, we realise he isnt the coach of the future within half a season. It also allows you to evaluate the playing roster a bit closer, as at the moment Clarke is getting most/all of the blame, if Maher comes in and makes the obvious changes and we still go 0-13 we need more changes than we think.

Isnt that better than going into next season with basically the same roster as we are convinced its a playoff roster just coached poorly, and say Brett Maher as coach on a 2 or 3 year contract, then if he opens the season say 0-13 we have wasted another whole season, and would have to either stick with another coach who isnt up to it or waste more money buying him out.

Wouldnt you rather waste half a season, that is basically dead anyway than the next 2-3 seasons?

I also put this forward, what if the new coach comes in, makes the obvious adjustments and the team goes 7-6 or better and makes the playoffs? The crowd jump alone would have likely been enough to pay Maher to coach the 2nd half of the season.

We get 4-5 thousand fans to games after 3 losing seasons in a row, i reckon we would easily get 6 thousand + to games if the team is winning atleast half there games and in the playoff hunt/making the playoffs.

Reply #404180 | Report this post

Years ago

Either way there isn't 13 games left so it doesn't matter and secondly it's not always fair to judge a coach coming in like that.

He has had no input on team. Limited time to implement and could get hung without having a proper crack at it.

The hypotheticals don't matter. Reality does !

Reply #404181 | Report this post

Years ago

Like it or not I trust the club to do what is best. It is only 3 years later the decision now seems wrong and that's the only way you ever know if a decision is wrong. After.

My $375 is going to pay for enough to change but I will pay it again and be there. !

So many businesses make decisions everyday that so many customers don't agree with. Sometimes they make them to survive ....

Reply #404185 | Report this post

Years ago

'Imagine you changed coach and we went 0-13' is the comment i was responding to. Thats where the 13 games reference came from.

You wouldnt purely judge Maher/new coach on that half of the season, especially the w/l ratio but would give a good indication on whether or not they can coach, run a good game plan, get the most out of the players they have, put them in a position to use there strengths, communicate and motivate, etc. If a team as talented as the 36ers still went 0-13 that would be a very strong indication they are not the person to turn the club around imo.

An example was Heal at the kings last season, he made a noticable difference in the way the team played in all areas, tactics, rotations, effort in a short space of time with a team he had no say in picking and some players he wouldnt have selected. Regardless of the w/l ratio. That gave a very strong indication that he could be a decent coach. Then look at this years results have had injuries to key players all season long and still in the top 4, if the team was injury free id say they would be locks to make the playoffs.

To me thats the ideal way to try someone out, and not waste a season doing so as the current season was already basically dead, sure its not the ideal situation, but you would get an indication one way or the other of there coaching ability. It also tests how the coach will perform in less than ideal circumstances and handle a crisis, which happen in sports.

Reply #404189 | Report this post

Years ago

It's obvious the club needs a new hero, and the fact is we have not really had one since Brett (IMHO anyway). I do not necessarily think he should be the next coach (unless of course he is proven to be able to do so and is genuinely a contender) but possibly an assistant coach or any other role where he can bring a positive culture back to the club.

Culture and self belief is desperately lacking and as that transfers more and more through the fans who watch the games and examples of this and react, it then transfers further back through to the club / players. It's a rotten circle that MUST be broken.

Fans - stop booing our team FFS. Be frustrated - yes, don't clap at all if you feel it's not deserved.. but quit the damn booing - its destructive, embarrassing and immature.

Players - Do whatever you can to adopt a positive culture. Find your fight! We know you all have it! I think we all agree new coaching staff may assist this, but a lot will still be up to you as individuals to promote, spread and maintain a club culture that works and breeds the success we all know we can have.

Ownership structure and leaders - you simply MUST guide and promote this culture change. If you can't do it.. leave - We don't want you. We want people who WILL do this. Simply WILL, not try, or plan to; WILL. It won't be instanant, but benefits should be evident to all pretty quickly. Re. the topic of this thread - Brett Maher would likely be ideal involved in this aspect of the club.

My 2c. Doesn't happen often :-)

Reply #404190 | Report this post

Years ago

While the fans are throwing ideas around and even writing open letters to our heroes, what are the Sixers management doing - sweet FA. They want us to continue supporting and continue spending money despite the fact that the entertainment is gone and they are just plodding along waiting for the end of another failed season. How many business structures could survive with the same disregard for its customers?

One more home game to endure and then we wait for the outcome of the post season debrief. We all live in hope that they have learnt from this waste of a season and provide us with something, some hope and something to cheer about.

Reply #404197 | Report this post

shin splints  
Years ago

Why would Brett Maher take over on an interim basis?

If he has aspirations as a NBL coach, taking on his first job in this situation would be risky.

Say Adelaide went 2-11. The book on Maher would be that he is not up to NBL coaching standards, and he would not get another chance (if ever) for a long time.

The smart thing would be to extract a long term deal - say 3 years - for some security but also time to perform with his systems and roster.

Unfortunately the 36ers are not able financially to sack Clarke, and sign someone to a long term deal. No coach - Maher or otherwise - would come to Adelaide without a multi-year option.

Reply #404204 | Report this post

Years ago

Forget coaching Mahersy, get back on court we need you!

Reply #404206 | Report this post

Marcus Camby  
Years ago

As heart felt and as good natured as this letter is, I can't help but think this attempt is pathetic.

My rationale being :

a) Brett Maher's poster? Taking dates to see Brett play? Really? I think this crossed the line into the creepy-zone.

Especially this line ---> "There is one person, who when I think of those qualities I think of and that person is you."

I would have stopped at I have been a supporter of the Sixers since 19NN.

b) Calling a servant of the club a Lame Duck is not going to endear Brett to your 'calling'.

c) Brett's legacy won't be tarnished?

I can GUARANTEE you that if Brett went through a 1 - 14 stretch, these 'most knowledgeable' fans would fire up the same Sack Maher Threads, Maher is [email protected], SOS are a joke. God forbid if Maher's assistant is shorter and a redhead.

Brett....if you are reading this and haven't initiated an AVO against Mr Stats after reading the first paragraph, please look at how the fans have treated Marty and Mark.

The 'fans' want success and are NOT prepared to wait for it.

If you can guarantee a Championship in 2013/2014 please come on board.

But if you require a building phase, time for your team to gel and understanding from your fans , please coach another NBL team.

These fans will throw you under a Bus the same as they did with Syth, Ninnis and Marty.

Thank you.

d) This letter smacks of desperation.

Let me put the logical thinking succinctly.

Brett Maher is synonymous with the Sixer Golden Age.
Therefore Brett Maher MUST bring winning to the Sixers.

This thinking is flawed.

I trust I have covered the points eloquently.

Reply #404207 | Report this post

shin splints  
Years ago

Re: Spinner

what are the Sixers management doing

Publicly supporting the coaching staff until the end of the season.


Reply #404208 | Report this post

Years ago

Spinner. How do you know what management are doing. Because they don't ring you to tell you the assumption is nothing is being done. Clearly never owned a business but good at taking pot shots.

Based on what we know the venue is a must priority.
The CEO should be next because that is the person that will drive everything.

The coach is not a priority. We know he is staying to season end. We know they can't afford to pay him out. Why go on about it.

Those 2 issues are hugely important to anything they can do and the good news is I am sure when they are decided you will without any facts have a go at those decisions anyway.

Reply #404211 | Report this post

shin splints  
Years ago

Camby, you seem not to understand the frustration of the Adelaide fan.

It is the inability of the club to make changes when they are required. Appointing Maher as coach is not done solely on coaching ability - it is to show the fans, the league, the opposition that the 36ers do not accept poor results.

Maher's appointment would have brought excitement, a link to championships, someone with a bit of fire. And one of the greatest players in the history of the league back to an official role with the club.

All we want is a coach that will look his players in the eye during a timeout, command their respect and expect them to give everything. Who wouldn't respect Maher with all his accomplishments both on and off the court?

Instead we have a coach who spends every damn timeout, head down, scribbling another convoluted diagram on the whiteboard.

Sure, Maher may struggle, but I would bet the house that if he went 22-50 or whatever after 2.5 seasons, he would step down and take full responsibility.

Reply #404213 | Report this post

Years ago

Again another ignorant example of the clubs inability to make changes when required. Why does this keep going around in circles. If we know the club doesn't have the money for such an exercise why do people keep saying they have to.

Spending what you don't have is also not good business sense.

Reply #404219 | Report this post

Years ago

Why would Maher require a multi year deal? That is stupid. He hasn't coached to my knowledge at even ABL level. If anything I'm sure he'd be happy with a one year deal with expectations of certain results or he is out of the job.

He would know what plays actually would work from past seasons as a player, plus be able to implement anything from a good assistant coach.

However, if him signing loses the interest of players who we need to resign or want to get on board, then he would be best suited as an assistant with a reputable coach who can get guys like Gibson, Petrie back, and get us a good import and other locals.

Reply #404225 | Report this post

Years ago

No coach with any brains would want a one year deal at a club who sacked one coach and all members called for the sacking of another.

Not the most stable employer.

No club can expect success giving one year contracts to different people each year !!

Reply #404228 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't care if Bert and Earnie take over. Have you heard smarty Clarke speak? Just hearing an interview confuses the crap out of me. His stuttering and mumbles area joke, he would struggle to order a big Mac meal.

We need a leader who command respect, looks the troops in the eye and holds EVERYONE accountable. It might not be Brett but I'm counting the sleeps till this joke and his little cronie are gone.

Reply #404253 | Report this post

bretts the man  
Years ago

Well agree totally with Jiordan as much as love Brett I dont know enough how well he could coach .
But think that with team we had this year anybody could do better than done and not only Abbot and Costello cant coach they have shown a total disdain for supporters and pure arrogance to not only not changing coaching style which after 3 years still not working but no resemblance of concern re the results or future of our great club.
I refuse to go to another game although season ticket until these two sail into the sunset.
If wanted a experienced coach then having Brett as a assistant would give us a reason to believe again .

Reply #404256 | Report this post

Years ago

I think Maher would've taken an interim position earlier in the season. Where else is he going to get a head coach position in the NBL? No one's making a move. Bickley has been put forward as an example of doing this in the AFL to test someone out.

Could've tested him without needing to hand over a three year deal as has proven problematic previously.

Not doing so could well prove to be more expensive than making the change. There might've even been long-time sponsors who would've chipped in to make it happen with a golden child like Brett.

Next year, a one year tenure may not cut it or be fair unless there are KPIs tied to a longer contract. You could do that with another coach, but I think there'd be a backlash for doing it with Maher and not giving him the three years granted to Clarke.

Reply #404263 | Report this post

Years ago

Would have been great to have brought in Brett several weeks ago. It meant that he could have shown what he can do in a no risk situation because the season was going to be written off anyway by keeping Clarke and Radford. A missed opportunity by the owners. It could have made their jobs very easy for next season.

Reply #404275 | Report this post

Years ago

Exactly, i reckon crowd increase alone would have basically paid for it aswell.

Also did they even talk to Clarke, to see if he would negotiate a settlement package of not 100% of his contract, sure he may be stubborn and wanted the whole lot but did they even try?

Could they have sacked Radford, made Clarke an assistant and bought in Maher as Head Coach as a cheaper option, with my guess being Clarke would resign.

I think there were ways it could have been done without costing the earth, i honestly believe if they passed the hat around at the last say 5 home games for a 'new coach fund' fans would have chipped in and it would have paid for the new coach.

Reply #404281 | Report this post

Years ago

Kickstarter project. If it raised enough money, the deal was done. Tongue in cheek, though I think it could've worked even if it made the club look a bit ridiculous.

Reply #404284 | Report this post

Years ago

Would have been great to have brought in Brett several weeks ago. It meant that he could have shown what he can do in a no risk situation because the season was going to be written off anyway by keeping Clarke and Radford. A missed opportunity by the owners. It could have made their jobs very easy for next season.

Said this a few weeks ago as well. Agreed yet another missed opportunity by SOS.

Reply #404289 | Report this post

Years ago

Maybe Maher should coach Adelaide, good idea!

I'm looking forward to seeing how Tom Maher goes with coaching men

Reply #404290 | Report this post

Years ago

The club can either afford it or they can't. If they can't its not a missed opportunity.

Passing a hat around. Isaac is right how ridiculous does that make the club look and how much really do you think it would raise.

Would it be stubborn for him to want his money. Regardless of performance he does have more kids than the Brady bunch I think so why would he if a contract is in place.

Could be similar to Adel united. If his contract is for a head coach does that give the ability to reduce his capacity and if the belief is Brett would have stepped in to do (not convinced) I really doubt he or anyone would step in and have the removed coach as there assistant. That would affect so many issues.

Reply #404308 | Report this post


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