Single page view By Jason Whitlock
Special to Page 2

This is it. I promise. I'm going to take a break from the Detroit sports scene after this column.

My little, one-man Larry Brown protest here on Page 2 has irritated some in the Detroit media, many of whom were quite comfortable penning articles detailing Tom Wilson's, Matt Dobek's and Joe Dumars' thoughts on how Larry ruined and held hostage the classiest, most professional, most loyal organization in all of sports.

Larry Brown
Things didn't end nicely for Larry in Detroit.

Larry, a 64-year-old man with a young wife and a younger child, learned this year that he may need assistance for the rest of his life using the bathroom. Learning something like that might make a man a little flighty, a little unsure about continuing with the rigors of coaching. It might take that man a few months to get a handle on how he'll deal with his professional future.

You have to credit the Pistons for their class, patience and compassion. When they insulted LB by offering him a scouting position and forced him out the door, at least they gave him a $7 million check and freedom to coach New York. And they told their media attack dogs to bid LB a polite farewell and mention the NBA title he helped the Pistons win.

"They laid him down right," is how LB's Detroit funeral would be described at the world-famous Masterpiece Lounge.

Bill "Mr. D" Davidson, owner of the Pistons, gave a fine eulogy Wednesday afternoon, telling Detroit mourners during a TV interview that the man who drove the Pistons to back-to-back Finals wasn't a good person. Mr. D basically gave the same sermon at the Detroit burial of Isiah Thomas, the last man to drive the Pistons to back-to-back Finals.

Larry and Zeke have a lot to talk about, much more than the Knicks job.

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Chad Ford spoke with Joe Dumars about why he hired Flip Saunders. Marc Stein says Saunders is tougher than you might think. How do you feel about him?

Terry Foster, a longtime Detroit scribe and dear friend, joked on his radio show that the reason I've been writing so much about The D is because I'm angling for a column job in Motown. Terry fails to realize I'm nothing like Wilson, Dobek, Dumars and Bill Davidson. I don't create media smoke screens and hover like a vulture to replace a Hall of Famer.

Nope. I'm no Flip Saunders, Detroit's coach-in-waiting since March. I believe that's when Pistons management first approved Flip's name to appear in print.

Flip's flop is the point of this column.

Hold it. Don't think I'm anti-Flip because I'm pro-Brown. I am, however, anti-Flip for the same reason I'm pro-Brown. Everything is just too one-sided. No way Larry Brown is all bad. And there's no way that replacing the best coach in basketball with Kevin McHale's friend and a guy with one trip beyond the first round of the playoffs makes "perfect" sense.

I know Wilson is a master at these little coup de'tats he pulls off every two to three years. He crushes dissent by putting his flunkies out in front of the news. But someone has to question the decision-making of Pistons management. I don't care how many championships the Pistons have won. They're just like every other organization or individual. The Pistons can choke on their own arrogance just like the American automotive industry and Kobe Bryant.

Continued...


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