Sides talk but resolve nothing

Updated: July 6, 2005, 10:04 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Detroit Pistons and the Larry Brown camp resumed discussions Tuesday about next season, but sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Brown's future with the Pistons remains uncertain.

"Joe Glass and I have started talking about Larry's situation and we are continuing to discuss the matter," Dumars said in a statement released by the team. "As of right now there is nothing new to report."

Glass told The Associated Press he did not have another conversation scheduled with Dumars.

"There's no timeframe on when we're going to talk again," Glass said in a telephone interview from his office in New York. "We just have to monitor Larry's situation, and go from there. People are reading too much into me and Joe talking, and trying to speculate on the implications."

Brown is at his vacation home in the Hamptons and did not participate in Tuesday's conversation, sources said, but further talks between the sides are expected this week.

It was unclear how soon Brown's status for next season would be clarified.

Brown was discharged Friday from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota but apparently without a definitive treatment course or timetable for dealing with the bladder issues that plagued him for much of last season.

It's believed that Pistons owner Bill Davidson, before committing to bring Brown back for the third season on his original five-year contract, wants assurances from Brown that he's healthy enough to coach after missing 17 games last season -- and also that Brown truly wants to be in Detroit after a season of constant speculation that the 64-year-old was planning his exit.

Davidson is still said to be fuming after months of Brown links to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, with the inference being that Brown didn't do enough to discourage such stories from becoming a distraction to his players.

After a rocky regular season, however, Detroit overcame the drama to come within one victory of back-to-back championships. The Pistons rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference finals to win Game 7 on the road at Miami and then erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in the NBA Finals to stretch eventual champions San Antonio to a seventh game.

If Brown asks for more time to make the health commitment, Detroit will have to decide whether it wants to risk waiting for Brown's condition to improve and potentially miss out on potential replacements Flip Saunders and Nate McMillan if it doesn't.

NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com that Saunders already has a lucrative multi-year offer from the Milwaukee Bucks, while McMillan is expected to decide as early as Wednesday whether to accept a new four-year, $18 million contract from the Seattle SuperSonics or jump to the Portland Trail Blazers for $6 million annually.

If the Pistons choose to part with Brown -- either because of the health concerns or because management has grown weary of the ongoing soap opera tied to Brown's future -- they would have to negotiate a buyout of the $18 million remaining on Brown's contract.

Should Brown leave the Pistons, New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas is expected to offer Brown the richest deal in coaching. Yet Thomas told Dan Patrick last week on ESPN Radio that he expects Brown to stay with Detroit.

"People like talking about [Brown's coaching the Knicks]," Thomas said. "But [Brown] said he's going back to coach the Detroit Pistons and Joe has said that he wants him back. We should quit talking about it."