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Is end of season also end of Brown tenure?

Published:

Is end of season also end of Brown tenure?

By Tom Sorensen
charlotteobserver.com

Posted: Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2010

Reports out of Philadelphia claim the 76ers will ask Charlotte for permission to talk to Larry Brown. A story by a respected reporter on Yahoo.com contends the deal is close.

But Ed Snider, chairman of the 76ers, tells the Philadelphia Daily News on Monday there is no truth to the Yahoo story.

I tell Fred Whitfield, Charlotte's president and CEO, there's a piece that contends Brown is about to leave.

"That's news to me," Whitfield says. "I'll check with (majority owner) Michael (Jordan)."

The Bobcats lose 99-90 to Orlando at Time Warner Cable Arena Monday, the fourth straight playoff loss, thus ending the season.

I tell Brown about the Yahoo story and intend to ask if he will be Charlotte's coach when the 2010-11 season begins.

But he responds before I can.

"Come on, man," he says.

Brown adds: "I'm not coaching for anybody but Michael," Brown says.

He says he will talk to his wife, Shelly, who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with their son and daughter.

It has to be tough to work in one city while your family lives in another 550 miles away.

I hope Brown stays. I like to believe he won't leave to coach for an owner other than Michael. But the 76ers probably could use a president and general manager. They're coming off their worst season in 13 years.

Brown coached Philadelphia from 1997 through 2003, his longest coaching stint anywhere, and five times in six seasons he made the playoffs.

Also, Brown often says he has no interest in leaving. Yet he has left 12 head coaching jobs.

Brown is 70 years old. At the April, 2008 news conference at which he was introduced to Charlotte, he said the Bobcats job would be his last.

I remember Shelly's response. She nodded so emphatically you could have seen her head bobbing from a passing car. My experience is that wives nod this way only when they influence the decision - or make it.

Jordan is too smart to force Brown to stay. We all have miserable co-workers. When they're in charge of day-to-day operations, they make everybody else as miserable as they are.

I think Brown really enjoys Charlotte. I also think he enjoys moving.

I don't think it's as if the grass in another town is always greener. He coached the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks.

The grass is different.

Brown's players move without the ball, but they don't move as far as he does. He fills out change-of-address cards with the ease the rest of us fill out grocery lists. You want to get a great deal on a 26-foot rental truck with a 7,400-pound maximum load? Who else are you going to call?

The image that won't go away - and I hope it is wrong because I've learned more about basketball by watching Brown's training camp practices than other coach's games - is this:

Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace carry one end of a sofa, Brown and Jordan the other. They're professional and they're precise. They don't crash into anything.

They move the right way.

Entry #2,292

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