Brown still the coach but future unresolved

Updated: July 13, 2005, 8:33 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Even after his first face-to-face meeting this month with the Detroit Pistons, Larry Brown's future with the team is still undecided.

"We had good dialogue about some internal things," Brown said Wednesday night in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Hall of Fame coach, his agent, Pistons owner Bill Davidson and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars got together Wednesday morning and decided they needed to talk again.

"Both sides have a clearer understanding of the situation and decided to discuss this again Thursday via phone," team spokesman Matt Dobek said.

Brown, who was joined by his agent, Joe Glass, said he was glad he traveled to speak with Dumars and Davidson. He had been resting, on doctor's orders, at his vacation home in New York before flying to his home in suburban Detroit.

"We're going to talk some more," said Brown, declining to elaborate. "I'm glad I came and got to sit down and talk with Joe and Mr. D."

Brown's agent and Dumars have spoken at least twice since the 64-year-old coach checked out of a hospital almost two weeks ago.

"I will only say that we're still talking," Dumars said Wednesday night.

The morning after the NBA draft, Brown was hospitalized for two days to address a medical problem that developed from complications following hip surgery in November and didn't go away after a second procedure in March.

Brown has said if doctors deem him healthy enough, he wants to return next season to Detroit -- and insists he will not coach another NBA team. Still, many have reported that the New York Knicks will not hire a new coach until they know for sure that Brown is not available.

The Pistons have said they would welcome Brown back, if he's willing to return.

He signed a five-year contract worth about $25 million, plus incentive bonuses, two years ago.

Brown has declined during interviews with the AP to say whether he would want to continue coaching if the medical problem persists.

The Cleveland Cavaliers talked with Brown about being their president of basketball operations after the Pistons gave them permission during the spring. Cleveland hired Danny Ferry to be its general manager last month. When Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was asked if Brown could work for the team in a consulting role, Gilbert did not answer directly.

Last year, Brown became the first coach to win NBA and NCAA championships. He won the college title with Kansas in 1988.

The Pistons came up short in their bid to repeat this season, losing to San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals last month.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press