Australia Olympic basketball coach Brown quits

Sydney (AFP) –

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Former Philadelphia 76ers' coach Brett Brown on Tuesday quit his role with Australia's Olympic basketball team nine months before the rescheduled Tokyo Games.

Brown was appointed last November to the coach the Australian team, known as the Boomers, with hopes high of winning a maiden gold medal at the Olympics, which have been delayed by until July 2021.

But Brown's circumstances changed when he was sacked two months ago after the Sixers were swept out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

And he said a combination of having to rebuild his career and travelling restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic meant he could not continue to coach Australia.

"The uncertainties around the direction of my professional future unfortunately mean that I cannot commit to the time and preparation that this job deserves and requires," he said in a statement released by Basketball Australia on Tuesday.

"The difficulties around travelling internationally with my family during the pandemic have also contributed to my decision."

Basketball Australia said it was disappointed by the departure of Brown, who has strong ties to the game Down Under, and did not immediately name a new coach.