Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mo Cheeks and Larry Brown

In a column from late last week, Ian Thomsen reports that Larry Brown almost accepted a position as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.

This report amazed me for a few reasons. First, can you imagine how confident Doc Rivers must feel in his position as coach of the Celtics? I don't know what Danny Ainge told him about his job security, but it must have been something really good considering how much criticism Doc gets from the Boston media (and the media in general). I don't care who you are (unless your name is Phil Jackson), I would imagine you would need to feel a bit insecure in your job as head coach if your GM knew that he just needed to fire you to have Larry Brown step-in as the new head coach. He might have had a terrible year with the Knicks, but Larry Brown is still a coaching legend. Brown's reputation for always angling for his next job probably wouldn't make you feel any more secure.

The second thing that amazed me is that Brown was ready to accept the offer, but Ed Snider and Billy King talked him out of it. Considering that Brown is staying away from Sixers practices because everyone knows his presence would lead to rumors that would undercut Mo Cheeks, I'm not sure I understand exactly why maintaining Brown's services in the executive suite is so important to the Sixers. He might be a coaching legend, but I have no idea what value Brown adds as an executive. Possibly King just likes having him there as a friend (since Brown helped him get the job in the first place) or possibly keeping him was really about keeping him from helping the Celtics or possibly he really is an amazing administrator, but from my outsider vantage point I don't really understand why he received the full court press.

1 comment:

Louis said...

Supposedly Larry Brown’s in the front office to help make “basketball decisions.” I assume that means he’s in the room when they are discussing player-personnel and maybe even decisions about how to improve people already on the roster: get a free-throw coach for X, get a strength trainer for Y. It’s interesting that Brown was so close to taking the Boston job when just a few months ago he said that he and his family were moving to Philly specifically to send his kids to Episcopal Academy. He is a coaching legend but he’s also enshrined in the Mind-Changer’s Hall of Fame.