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Old May 26th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #1
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Larry Brown Resigns

PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Brown resigned as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday after six often-turbulent seasons, saying the decision "has been coming for a long time.''

Brown, a Hall of Famer and one of basketball's most well-traveled coaches, could be a candidate for coaching vacancies in Cleveland, Houston and elsewhere. He said the 76ers have released him from a contractual clause that prohibited him from coaching another NBA team if he left Philadelphia prematurely. Brown had two years left in his contract.

What will Allen Iverson's future in Philly be like without coach Larry Brown?

Brown's job with the Sixers was his longest tenure with any team in his 31-year coaching career. He led the team to the playoffs five straight years, including the 2001 NBA Finals, and is to coach the U.S. men's national team this summer at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico.

The 62-year-old Brown had been contemplating stepping down since Philadelphia lost its second-round playoff series to the Detroit Pistons in six games. The Sixers overcame a mediocre start, won 23 of their final 33 games and finished 48-34.

But after beating New Orleans in six games in the first round, the Sixers couldn't get past the top-seeded Pistons, losing twice in overtime and once on a last-second shot that was goaltended.

"This has been coming for a long time,'' Brown said at a news conference. "I said to everybody I didn't want to hold this franchise back. I kind of thought in the middle of the season that we needed a change, a fresh look. And that's been on my mind awhile.

"We had a good run. I think it's time to get somebody else in here to maybe give a fresh look. I didn't want to hold this franchise back and I felt by staying here, I'd do that.''

LeBron James, expected to go to the Cavaliers with the top pick in the NBA draft on June 26, said he would be happy if Brown ended up in Cleveland.

"I think Larry Brown is a great teacher if we can get him,'' James said during an interview at halftime of TNT's broadcast of the San Antonio-Dallas playoff game Sunday night. "I consider myself a student of the game, so Larry Brown would be great.''

Brown came to Philadelphia in 1997, taking over a perennial loser that hadn't been to the playoffs since 1991. With help from then-president Pat Croce, Brown turned the Sixers from a laughingstock franchise into one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

In 2000-01, Brown led the Sixers to a 56-26 record and first place in the East. Philadelphia advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 18 years before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

Brown won the NBA's Coach of the Year honors that season, the only time he won the award. Brown was Coach of the Year in the ABA three times in four seasons.

Brown had a contentious relationship with Allen Iverson, but the two worked together despite several disputes.

At one point, the All-Star guard nearly was traded to Detroit. A few times, Brown came close to leaving, and once had to be talked out of quitting by Croce and general manager Billy King.

Brown twice considered the possibility of returning to coach his alma mater, North Carolina -- both in 2000 when Matt Doherty was hired, and again when the Tar Heels were looking for a replacement in April.

Brown compiled a record of 879-685 in the NBA, and 1,285-853 overall, including ABA and college.

Brown won an NCAA national championship with Kansas in 1988. He became the first coach to take six NBA teams to the playoffs when the Sixers made it in 1999.

The Sixers were 255-205 under Brown, and 26-30 in the playoffs.

Brown has had winning records in 27 of his 31 seasons as a head coach on the professional and collegiate levels. He finished first in his division six times and reached the Eastern Conference finals three times.

Brown has also coached the Denver Nuggets (five years), Indiana Pacers (four years), San Antonio Spurs (3{ years), New Jersey Nets and ABA Carolina Cougars (each two years) and the Clippers (18 months).

A three-time All-Star guard in the ABA, Brown is the only U.S. male to play and coach in the Olympics.

Brown's team for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico includes Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan and Iverson. The team will try to win one of three spots in the 2004 Olympics for nations from the FIBA-Americas zone.

arthurracoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2003, 03:13 PM   #2
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I consider Larry Brown to be one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Remember when he was with the LAC they would beat us!
That is saying something seeing how they did not before him and after him. They also beat many other teams while he was there.

If he goes to Cleveland we will get our draft pick from them sooner than later!!!!!!

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -Will Rogers
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allen iverson, coach larry brown, conference finals, denver nuggets, head coach, larry brown, los angeles lakers, nba draft, playoff game, san antonio spurs, tracy mcgrady

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