#33: Larry Brown

I'm not even sure that was the style then.

Larry Brown has always been a sort of charlatan to me. I’ve never loved how he feels that his way is the “right way to play”, largely because for the vast majority of his NBA coaching career, he was a loser (and I mean that only in the sense of winning championships).

That was one reason I didn’t want to see him win in Detroit, because he could say that his way pays. And it eventually did, but that way didn’t sustain him as a title-winning coach. In the same way that if Charles Barkley won a championship, he could boast that he showed up to training camp out of shape and became a champion, I didn’t want Larry to have that same sense of entitlement.

Larry also is never satisfied. For a guy that proclaims to adore the teams that he coaches when he first signs on the dotted line, he quickly looks for another team to lead while still in bed with the organization he’s obligated to coach for, like a married man sneaking around to dimly lit clubs, just to chase that feeling -– so goes Larry Brown. Brown has coached eleven different teams in his 30-year career, and only his tenure in Philadelphia lasted more than four seasons.

So it’s no wonder that he felt a similar itch when he left UCLA for the New Jersey Nets and later bolted from the Nets after two winning seasons (and a 91-67 record) for Danny-Manningville (also known as Kansas University). After Brown accepted an offer to coach there, owner Joe Taub caught wind and decided to go the “you can’t quit, you’re fired!” route, excusing Brown from his duties with six games remaining in the 1982-83 season. As quickly as he’d come, he was gone.