Larry Brown Rumors
“I don’t regret nothing in my life,” Iverson said, before listing one small regret concerning his time in Philadelphia with coach Larry Brown. “But if I could have a wish as an athlete, I wish I had bought into what he was trying to give me all along. I was just being defiant, being a certified asshole for nothing, when all he wanted was the best for me. I didn’t take constructive criticism the way I should have. When I finally caught up to that, that’s when I went to being the MVP.”
As he sat and spoke about his feelings on being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, former Philadelphia 76ers superstar Allen Iverson confessed he had yet to call former coach Larry Brown for a simple reason. “The emotional part of me … you know what I mean … is why I haven’t spoken to him yet,” Iverson said. “Because I know that it won’t be a conversation. It’ll just be me crying. I know it. As soon as I hear his voice. I already know it.”
Darko Milicic: “Their system is cruel and I don’t like it. If a young player doesn’t succeed, they don’t look after him. That sucks. You have players who are first or second in the draft that get a chance to play. I didnt get the chance. LBJ is a killer now, but he did get a chance in his first year, he could shoot from the stands if he wanted. I barely got the chance. I had that situation in Orlando where if I shoot from perimeter, my coach Hill would yell, “Pass to Howard.” In Detroit nothing went right. Larry Brown always told me to go near the basket. They offered me a $40 million, four-year contract in Orlando, and then their manager blows it off, out of nowehere. My manager told me he would deal with it. I said OK, but just not Memphis. Anywhere but there. And, of course, I went to Memphis. Then I got injured, didn’t play much.
Do you have any regrets? Allen Iverson: The only regret that I have is not buying into everything that Larry Brown was giving to me. I wasn’t accepting of the gift when I should’ve [been]. A lot more positive things would’ve happened if I had accepted the gift earlier. I’m glad I did accept it, eventually. Better late than never.
Gerald Henderson: “Kobe finished the game with 30 points. After the game, Coach Brown gave me a nod and said I’d played well. I think he meant it. Even though Kobe got 30, I had stuck to my game plan. For great scoring guards, the game plan is pretty universal: limit your guy to tough, contested two-point shots. If they’re off-balance jumpers, even better. Problem is, an off-balance, contested jumper might be Kobe’s strongest offensive move. You know the one where he drives past his defender, finds his spot, stops on a dime in front of the help defender, elevates, releases the ball at the height of his jump over an outstretched hand, leans back to put a little more arc on it. If you’re a defender, that’s a great shot to have your opponent take. Any coach would smile at that.”
A time back at the 2004 Olympics in Athens gives a hint. When Team USA, led by coach Larry Brown, was fraying on and off the court en route to a disappointing bronze medal, Popovich argued that veterans who were playing unhappily and unproductively should have been benched in favor of some of the young talent. Namely James. It has been said that James has always appreciated Popovich’s gesture, even if it went unheeded.