Brown: Pistons 'my last pro coaching job'
WASHINGTON -- The NBA champion Detroit Pistons visited the White House on Monday, and coach Larry Brown made it clear he has no plans to leave the team.
"I'm not going to coach anywhere but Detroit," Brown said after he and the Pistons met President Bush in an East Room reception. "It's my last pro coaching job."
Asked if he would take a college coaching job, Brown said, "Oh, I don't look at that."
Speculation that the much-traveled, Brooklyn-born Brown was thinking about leaving the Pistons and taking over the New York Knicks began Friday, when he was quoted in a New York newspaper as saying the Knicks' job was one he had "dreamed about many times."
But Brown said there was more to it than that.
"I told [a reporter] what I'm telling you," Brown told the Detroit Free Press on Monday. "Did I say it was my dream job? Yes, I told him it once was. But they passed me over twice. I grew up in New York. I talked to the guy about that. I talked to him about Red Holzman. ... I've never been smart enough to say 'no comment.' "
The Hall of Fame coach, who has three-plus years left on his $25 million, five-year contract, declined comment at Sunday's practice, but told the Free Press that coaching the Knicks is not in his future.
"Even if they offer me the job at the end of this season, I am not going to go coach the Knicks," Brown said.
Brown has been one of the more well-traveled coaches in history, with head coaching stints at Detroit, Philadelphia, Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio, New Jersey, Denver (NBA and ABA) and Carolina of the ABA, UCLA and Kansas. He also coached the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's team
Bush didn't mention Brown's job status, but he congratulated the Pistons for winning a championship "the right way" -- with teamwork.
Bush joked that he had something in common with the Pistons, who defeated the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in June's NBA Finals.
"Nobody expected you to win," Bush said. "I know how you feel."
Also attending the reception were the players' families, several members of the Michigan congressional delegation, owners Bill Davidson and Oscar Feldman, Joe Dumars, the president of basketball operations, and former star Bill Laimbeer.
Pistons leading scorer Richard Hamilton said visiting the White House was something he never could have imagined as a kid.
"I had dreams of playing in the NBA, but if someone told me you'd come to the White House, sit with the president, shake his hand and have him call you by name, I'd tell him, 'You would be lying,' " Hamilton said.
One player who wasn't as enthusiastic about the team's White House visit was Rasheed Wallace. Asked on Sunday what he would say to President Bush when they met, the Pistons forward told the Free Press: "I don't have [expletive] to say to him. I didn't vote for him. It's just something we have to do."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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