With several NBA head-coaching positions still up for grabs, there’s no shortage of rumors linking teams to potential candidates—even those from the college ranks.
The Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers have both “contacted” SMU coach Larry Brown about their coaching openings, a source close to Brown told SNY.tv.
The source said a third team, possibly the Los Angeles Clippers, has also reached out to Brown, 72. The source requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly for Brown.
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 5, at 12:51 a.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Larry Brown has spoken to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the open Sixers position and it doesn't sound like fans should expect to see the team's former coach on the bench any time soon.
“I love what I’m doing,” said Brown, who coached the Sixers from 1997-2003, leading them to the NBA Finals in 2001. “But I’m in a situation where I think I can help young people. But I don’t ever want to get back into coaching at the professional level unless I have a great relationship with the ownership and people let me share the knowledge I have learned and work with young people that have the same values that I have.”
The biggest reason that Brown – who still owns a home on the Main Line – probably would not come back to the Sixers is that he was very disappointed with the firing of Tony DiLeo. DiLeo was fired from his general manager’s post last month after initiating the coaching search. He was replaced by Sam Hinkie, the team’s president of basketball operations and general manager.
“They have new ownership,” Brown said. “I think when Tony was let go I don’t think that they would have any interest in somebody like me. I love the team, I love the city. I have always felt that if there was any way I could help as a resource because of the way I was treated I would love to do that. But I think there are probably a lot of great options out there for them.”
---End of update---
With Brooklyn said to be in pursuit of Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw (among others) according to ESPN, it comes as no surprise the team is doing its due diligence in exploring every option.
Like the Nets, the 76ers are in need of a new head coach after firing Doug Collins in April. Philadelphia hasn’t been linked to as many names this offseason, but bringing Brown back to the NBA would make plenty of a sense for a team desperately in need of some veteran direction.
According to Zagoria, sources indicate Brown would likely accept a position with the 76ers, Nets or Los Angeles Clippers, but that it’s unlikely any of those teams will actually offer him the job.
The interest in Brown is understandable, though. In a free-agent coaching market devoid of any huge names, teams are searching for a candidate who can make a substantial and immediate impact.
Brown certainly has the experience to do so. The 72-year-old has coached with nine different NBA franchises, the latest of which was the Charlotte Bobcats from 2008 through 2010. Prior to that tenure, he spent time with the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, 76ers, Pacers, Clippers, Nets and Spurs.
It remains to be seen if any of the interested teams will follow through with an offer, but as Zagoria noted, Brown is said to be happy coaching at SMU, where he just completed his first season as head coach.