76ers' Brown on benching Noel: 'I feel worse for Richaun Holmes'
Brett Brown has no qualms about withholding Nerlens Noel from game action.
Following Philly's 108-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets without Noel, Brown was asked if he feels bad that the 22-year-old hasn't gotten a fair shot this season.
"I feel worse for Richaun (Holmes)," he replied, as quoted by Rich Hofmann of phillyvoice.com. "I think that when I put my human hat on and then you go coach a team, make decisions, show leadership, that stands out to me as much as anything. Nerlens missed everything. ... He hasn't been a part of us."
In contrast, the coach pointed out that Holmes, who was also a healthy scratch, "has been here from Day 1."
But even he can't seem to find consistent minutes because the club is committed to developing other up-and-coming frontcourt players. Brown believes that unlike Noel, playing Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid is "best for the team."
After missing the beginning of the campaign while recovering from knee surgery, Noel made his season debut last Sunday against the Detroit Pistons. He played just 10 minutes in that contest and eight minutes in his subsequent outing, which he complained about to reporters before meeting with Brown.
Although Noel has been linked to other teams in trade rumors for months, and his string of DNP-CDs stands to continue "for the foreseeable future," Brown suggested his tune could change "in a few weeks when (Noel's) actually had some practices."
He made a point to say he has no ill will toward the Kentucky product.
"I've spoken freely about my fondness for Nerlens Noel," he said. "We will coach him and I will help him and what that means, we won't see on the floor."