Larry Brown Rumors
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.
Brown’s early Sixers teams also struggled, before he turned explosive guard Allen Iverson loose and got the franchise to the 2001 NBA Finals. It’s been pretty much downhill for Philly since, with Brown a fierce critic of the way the organization has been handling things. “I’m sick of what’s going on there,” Brown said, who’s hopeful that old friend Jerry Colangelo will guide them in the right direction. “You know I care about the Sixers. It’s an unbelievable basketball city and I had a great experience there. I don’t want to get on them when they’re struggling, but they don’t have any veteran leadership. I want to help. I could straighten it out in five minutes. I wish they’d get Allen involved. All those young kids worship him.”
As painful as all that’s been, a series of personal losses has brought Brown even greater pain. The most recent came last week when 87-year-old Dolph Schayes, who Brown grew up admiring as kid, passed away Thursday, followed by John “Hot Rod” Williams the following day. When you factor those in, along with the recent deaths of Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone and Mel Daniels along with former North Carolina coaches Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge, no wonder he’s devastated. “I coached against Moses in the ABA,” recalled Brown, who also had some things to say about the state of the NBA franchise where he lasted the longest, the Philadelphia 76ers. “I think I coached his first ABA game. I gave Moses a hug the night before he passed away. I was being interviewed and he came by. I was kidding him and asked him if he had any eligibility.” Brown and Daniels also had a close relationship. “When I coached at Indiana he was a huge, huge asset for me,” Brown said. “I saw Mel’s wife at the Hall of Fame this year. I didn’t realize he was struggling.”
Nazr Mohammed: In this case, I had been sitting out about 15 games. I tried to make the best of it so I came early and got an intense workout before the game. I typically played Coach Mo Cheeks in a little one-on-one from the top of the key to keep my tools sharp! (I’m from Chicago so I had to keep my handle tight lol). We had just finished playing – and I was dripping sweat from head to toe – I get to the locker room when Coach Randy Ayers tells me that Coach (Larry Brown) wants to talk to me. Whenever the Head Coach or GM wants to talk to you, your mind starts wandering and thinking the worst…Am I traded? Am I cut? What’s going on?
The Inquirer reported Tuesday that former coach Larry Brown has been lobbying the 76ers to hire Allen Iverson as an assistant general manager. There is one person who wholeheartedly supports that move: Iverson himself. “I may not know everything about physical talent or anything like that, but I have a sharp mind when it comes to that look, being able to look into somebody’s eyes to tell if they are going to be in the foxhole with you tonight or if they are not,” Iverson said Thursday night. “To me, I am a basketball genius and I really believe that, so at any capacity I could help this franchise, that is what I am going to do, whatever they ask me to do.”