Coach Larry: Brown and Out?
Having an opinion about Larry Brown is easy.
But predicting where and if he’s going to coach next season is much more difficult.
And that’s exactly the Detroit Pistons’ problem right now. Reports are already circulating that the Pistons will fire Brown because of the protracted wait on his health. Some media moguls aren’t even giving Brown a chance. On July 7, Sports Illustrated‘s Ian Thomsen reported straight up, “Larry Brown will not be back in Detroit.”
It’s a problem that has Detroit in a very vulnerable spot this offseason. Do they wait it out and hope Brown can return or do they chance not having a coach at the end of the summer?
With all this hype surrounding his health and future with the team, even Brown seems like he can’t wait for it all to end.
“I’m planning to be there on Oct. 3 (the opening of training camp),” Brown told The Detroit News July 11. “My dilemma is, I can’t tell them 100% I’ll be ready because the doctors don’t know and I don’t know. But if the Pistons can’t wait, let me know, don’t put this stuff out there. I mean, what would you do if you were me?”
Popular sentiment is Brown – who missed 17 games last season because of hip surgery and subsequent bladder problems – has three options if his team balks on next season:
1) He could coach the Knicks.
2) Brown could become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president.
3) He could just throw in the towel.
In the meantime, New York GM Isiah Thomas is waiting patiently for Brown’s decision. Thomas quietly made it known he will not hire a Knick head coach until Brown makes his decision.
But let’s look at Brown’s recent history to evaluate this situation. Brown’s single most motivation to continue coaching is to win another championship. This attitude made him the quintessential coaching nomad for over 30 years.
So would he realistically take up a coaching job with the Knicks, who were 33-49 last season – bad enough for last place in the dismal Atlantic division? New York has reloaded this offseason, adding three first round draft picks and veteran swingman Quentin Richardson, but it’ll take time for the team to be successful.
And if you know anything about Brown, he doesn’t like to wait.
Cavs GM Danny Ferry hasn’t ruled out making a deal with Brown. The two parties met during the playoffs – much against the Piston’s behest – but nothing more intimate than talking occurred. Brown has never taken a managerial position with any team.
Futhermore, rumors have surfaced that former Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders has the Piston coaching job locked up for next season. With several teams vying for his expertise, including the much improved Milwaukee Bucks, Flip hasn’t seemed to flinch, lending to speculation that a deal is in place.
I say if Brown’s going anywhere this season, it will be his couch.
But having an opinion about Larry Brown is easy.