Larry Brown Confirms Interest In Coaching College Team, Remains Hopeful that Allen Iverson Will Finish Career Back in the NBA
Larry Brown wants to be back on the sidelines yet again, but not from a spectator’s standpoint. The 70-year old, Hall of Fame head coach, has a career record of 1,275-965. His most recent head coaching stint was with the Charlotte Bobcats where he resigned in mid-December following a sluggish start to what was expected to be a solid year for the Bobcats. (Editor’s note: That’s a fancy way for saying he was fired. He even mentions in the interview he was fired). It seems like forever ago that Brown roamed the college sidelines. He’s been an NBA guy for so long now that it’s hard to imagine him as anything else. His track record confirms that, as he’s the only coach in NBA history to lead eight different teams to the playoffs. Sounds like a lifer to me. Not so fast. Brown actually sounds interested in rejoining the college ranks if the right situation presents itself. We’ll see. His lasting collegiate legacy is for the success he had at both UCLA and Kansas. It would be hard to replicate that type of scenario and Brown knows it. In fact, he stresses that returning to college basketball would have to be a “special” situation with someone who trusts him.
Allen Iverson has also been another topic of conversation for Brown. If anyone knows the polarizing Iverson it would be Brown, who coached “The Answer” from 1997-2003. Brown would like to see Iverson finish his career in the NBA and hopes one team will provide one last opportunity for the guard to finish his career the right way after failing to make anything out of his stint in Turkey. And it’s not just a fleeting sentiment from the coach who famously butted heads with AI during their time together in Philly. Brown wants to see Iverson back in the NBA where he belongs as he winds down his career.
Larry Brown joined 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia with Mike Missanelli to discuss being interested in coaching college basketball again, what exactly would be the right situation for himself to strongly consider returning to the collegiate sidelines, whether he follows the college game closely, what he has heard about Allen Iverson’s stint in Turkey, how he’s still in regular contact with AI, and how he’s hoping that an NBA team will go out of its way to ensure that one of the game’s great guards of the generation winds down his career where he belongs — the NBA.
Somebody told me you were interested in coaching college basketball?
“All my boys in college [basketball] are trying to get me to say I’m interested [in coaching college basketball], but I want to coach again. You know if it was the right situation I really wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I had an opportunity about three years ago to go to Stanford and it just wasn’t right at the time with my family, so I didn’t go. I think things might change a little bit, but I’m seventy years old you know…other than [Jim] Boeheim, you know a few other guys, I don’t know any old guys like us in it.”
What would be the right situation for you?
“I don’t know. You know a lot depends on the school and where it’s located and what its chances are being successful. If you can coach one-hundred games in the NBA you can coach thirty-two in college. I think the way my clock ticks…I really love practice. I really love being with kids. I think the opportunity to teach is really there on a college level because you have so much time to prepare. The fact that you coached in the NBA and also in college is a big plus. Most kids you recruit all think they’re going into the NBA. That is their goal, so I think if you have that experience it’s never going to hurt you. Again it would have to be a special situation with somebody who would trust me. You know we’ll see, but for the time being now I’m a fan just like you.”
Do you watch college basketball games?
“I watch it a lot. I think as a professional coach you have a responsibility to watch it because these are the kids someday who are going to be eligible for the draft and there’s some unbelievable coaching going on. Then I have a lot of close friends who work with me that are in college. Just recently I came back from Kansas. I spent time with them. I watched Texas A&M play them. Mark Turgeon who coached with me and Bill Self who coached with me were involved in a game. I went to Kentucky and spent some time with John Calipari. You know I go down to North Carolina. I hang out with Jay Wright at practices a lot. I’m a huge fan of the game. I love this time of year. This year is probably more exciting than any year I can remember because of so many great, close games and so many unbelievable upsets. It’s really been compelling to watch the end of games.”
What have you heard about Allen Iverson? What is your feeling on the whole situation?
“Well Allen [Iverson] has kept in touch with me. You know he is just trying to get well. Before I got fired I went to the NBA coaches’ meeting…a lot of the NBA people, the executives that were there, talked to me about trying to figure out a way to get Allen to finish out his career in our league. He wanted to come with me [Allen Iverson], but Michael [Jordan] didn’t think it the right thing to do because we had young guards and he wanted them to develop. I think for him to end his career in Turkey after what he did for our league is tragic. I’m just hopeful somebody will just figure out a way to give him an opportunity to be a role player on a really quality team because I still think he can contribute.