After less than 2 years, Brown steps down as 76ers' vice president
PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Brown wants one more stop on his nomadic coaching career.
Brown resigned as the Philadelphia 76ers' executive vice president on Thursday with the intent to pursue a coaching job at the NBA or college level.
Brown, enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, has been a winner at every stop, but hasn't coached since a bitter split with the New York Knicks and then-team president Isiah Thomas after just one season (2005-06).
"He has the taste of coaching back in his mouth," Brown's agent, Joe Glass, said. "It would be refreshing to have a situation going that he could enjoy, rather than the last one, to say the least."
Glass said Brown, who won an NBA title with Detroit (2004) and a college title with Kansas (1988), would not rule out returning to either level.
Brown, 67, rejoined the Sixers last season as consultant and was hired in January 2007 as a vice president, more than three years after he quit his coaching job to take the same position in Detroit.
Brown resigned as coach of the 76ers in 2003 after six often-turbulent seasons in which he helped rebuild a struggling franchise.
He had a contentious relationship with Allen Iverson, but the two worked together despite several disputes, and reached the NBA Finals in 2001. They lost in five games to the Lakers.
"It's rare you'll find a separation between an organization and an executive as amicable as the one the 76ers had with Larry Brown today," general manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement. "Larry was born to coach and this is something he and I talked about when I took the job here back in December, so it comes as no surprise to me. Working with Larry was always a pleasure, and to watch him contribute with Maurice, his staff and the players was terrific."
Making A Move
Larry Brown isn't much for putting down roots. He has made 11 coaching stops in the college ranks, ABA and NBA. Timeline
Brown rarely attended games or even practices in his second stint. He returned to the organization to help out his friend and former team president Billy King, and consulted when the 76ers traded Iverson to Denver last season.
Not long after Iverson was gone, Brown was promoted. Brown has been King's mentor since he hired him as an assistant coach in Indiana. When Brown went to Philadelphia in 1997, he brought King with him as vice president of basketball administration. King became team president after Brown resigned in 2003.
Once King was fired in December, Brown's role diminished.
"I think he didn't feel he had a role," King said on Thursday.
Brown's job with the 76ers was his longest with any team in his 34-year coaching career. He left to take the job at Detroit and led the Pistons to an NBA title in the first of his two seasons there before his brief stay in New York.
Let The Rumors Begin
Larry Brown has led a nomadic coaching life. After the Knicks' debacle, he would like to return to the sideline. Possible candidates for his services? There are few. TrueHoop
He was fired by the Knicks that June after going 23-59 and received an $18.5 million payout from the team.
"He wasn't the reason for the horrible situation the Knicks were in," Glass said. "He can get that bad taste out of his mouth and go back to his first love, which is coaching."
Now that Brown is unemployed, teams won't have to contact the 76ers for permission to interview him.
The Bulls have a coaching vacancy, and Charlotte, Memphis and Miami could all be in the hunt for a new coach. Of course, the Knicks have an opening, also.
Brown interviewed with the Grizzlies last summer and considered an opportunity with Princeton.
"He's one of the best in the business and should be coaching," King said. "I think he's got a lot more to offer as a coach. I think it'll be on the pro level."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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