The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 15 straight games by an average of 19.8 points and 25 of their past 28 games.
Some of that frustration recently boiled over in a highly animated conversation on the sideline between Michael Carter-Williams and Brett Brown.
"Nobody should be naïve enough to think that the benefits of this year won't be carried forward, despite the record, despite some of our pound-downs," Brown said. "We have done a lot to bring forward. We talk about the culture, and what does that mean? It's such an open-ended word and it means different things to different people. To me it means, what's the routine? From prepractice workouts to stuff we do in videotape to trying to be professional in the way we handle a shootaround, and on and on and on. So all these lessons, although the public might not see it because they pay attention to winning and losing, which is fair enough, I know what's going on behind the scenes, and we're ticking a lot of boxes. That is going to enable this program to move forward along with Michael Carter-Williams."
Carter-Williams was asked about the confrontation.
"Of course, losing is frustrating and it can be frustrating at times, but I don't think I was flustered out there. I was just trying to keep my composure and trying hard and keep my focus on the next play."
"I'm proud of them for understanding that there's more than on the floor," Brown said. "You want to have somebody not feel entitled, like they have to be on the floor and they limp over and can't believe they've just been subbed. Like there's a level of entitlement. You want somebody on the bench to say, 'That's a hell of a pass' or 'That's a great assist' or they run and help people up or they huddle on free throws. That part of the game is so undervalued in the NBA. What's interesting to me is that it's valued at every other level. It's hard to pull off because of people's paychecks and their age and their egos. It's not kumbaya college, but it means something. And when you really look at the good teams and you watch teams that play in June and May [playoffs], they all got that."