Former Pistons coach Larry Brown has made it known ever since he and the Charlotte Bobcats parted ways that he’d still like a chance to prove he can coach. He’s reportedly been interested in several NBA and college openings and has even kicked around the notion that he’d be happy as an assistant on someone’s staff. Joanne C. Gerstner of the New York Times recently caught up with Brown:
The jones to be an N.B.A. coach is still in the well-traveled Brown’s blood, and he doesn’t hide his desire to officially be back in the game soon. He said he has chatted with Rivers about what’s open with the Celtics — both now and in the future.
“I’d go help Doc in a minute, but he wants to help the people he’s evolved with,” Brown said to the Boston Herald. “He’ll try rewarding the guys who have put in their time with him. It works. Two of his assistants (Lawrence Frank and Tom Thibodeau) have become head coaches. We talked about it, and he wants to help the people who have been with him.
“I have no problem with being an assistant coach, but I really want to get back to coaching again, or even move into management. That was a one-time thing we talked about, with the understanding that if he ever had another opening, we would talk again.”
The height of Brown’s professional career came in Detroit when he guided the Pistons to the 2004 title, then coached the U.S. Olympic team. But it all crashed down pretty quickly from there. That Olympic team was a disaster that caused USA Basketball to blow up their whole model and start over, Brown infuriated Bill Davidson by talking with other teams during the 2005 season, lost his job with the Pistons, took over a terrible Knicks team that no one could’ve succeeded with then had modest success in Charlotte, turning the Bobcats into a playoff team for the first time and a stout defensive unit before team management gave away the anchor of that defense, Tyson Chandler, in a cost-cutting trade before Brown’s second season.
I don’t know if it would make sense for any team to hire Brown as a head coach at this point. The man obviously knows how to teach the game, but in order for him to succeed, I think he needs a hungry, talented and, most importantly, mentally tough roster like that 2004 Pistons team he inherited. Unfortunately, those types of jobs don’t open up too often.