Philadelphia 76ers guard Josh Richardson said the team were missing accountability from under-fire head coach Brett Brown after being swept by the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs.
The 76ers were swept 4-0 by rivals the Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after Sunday's 110-106 loss in Orlando, Florida.
Afterwards, attention turned to Brown, who is reportedly facing an exit, with championship hopefuls Philadelphia set to make a final decision soon.
Brown was appointed in 2013 and he has overseen three consecutive trips to the postseason since 2017-18, including two Conference semi-final appearances.
But Richardson – who joined the 76ers as part of the deal that saw All-Star Jimmy Butler move to the Miami Heat in the offseason – was forthright in his assessment of the 59-year-old.
"He's a good guy," Richardson said via video conference post-game. "He's a good man. He means well.
"I just think going forward, we've just gotta have some more accountability. I don't think there was much accountability this season and I think that was part of our problem."
Richardson, whose 76ers only qualified for the playoffs as the sixth seeds, added: "It just has to start. There's always gotta be a day one. We've just gotta start from scratch. It's not gonna be easy and we're not gonna be comfortable, but that's what championship teams do.
"[When] guys are not doing their job on or off the court, there's gotta be some kind of consequence — not consequence, but we've gotta be able to talk to each other and listen.
"And not [just] listen to say something back, but actually hear [each other]. It's a hard lesson to learn for some people, but in order for us to make this playoff run that I think we all want, I know we all want, it's gotta start."
The 76ers were forced to face the Celtics without All-Star guard Ben Simmons due to injury.
Injuries have often hampered Brown and Philadelphia – Simmons, fellow All-Star Joel Embiid and former number one pick Markelle Fultz, now with the Orlando Magic, among others spending time on the sidelines.
Brown lamented the injuries, telling reporters: "Missing Ben will resonate for a long time, especially given what he did to prepare himself to play in the [bubble]. The difficulty of guarding the Celtics' wings [that] you live every time you play them is they've got so much firepower, and you really need to have a stable of able, senior, veteran-type mentality defensive players on a bunch of really good scorers. And I will think of [not having Simmons].
"Obviously, the way our season ended is disappointing. You can't, obviously, phrase it any other way. But really trying to guard those wings was difficult."