Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 12:36 pm  |  12 responses

Sounding Off: Larry Brown. GOLDDIGGER?

Also, Blake Griffin is an All-Star. Right now.

by Sandy Dover / @SandmanSeven

Sometimes, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on some happenings that have occurred in the world of the NBA. But many times, I don’t have the conviction to write 700 words on every singular subject of interest — but I may have a bunch of short bits to communicate en masse, on occasion. And so I’ll be Sounding Off on occasion. Holler.

It’s fairly obvious to most people with a pulse who’ve followed the NBA this year that Los Angeles Clippers rookie power forward Blake Griffin is having a phenomenal year (so is Eric Gordon, relatively). The other obvious thing to note is that the Clippers still suck and are “achieving” greatly in sucking, but that’s no surprise. I call those fairly obvious points forth because it appears that woefully injured Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will be the leading vote-getter for the 2011 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, but he’ll be out of that, so there is the issue of a dutiful, worthy replacement. Outside of Minnesota Timberwolves‘ forward Kevin Love and Los Angeles Lakers‘ power forward/center Pau Gasol, I can think of no better replacement than Blake.

His team is terrible, but that hasn’t meant that his play is less than. Remember when people were putting Chris Bosh on the All-Star Team for the East when he was with the Toronto Raptors? His teams were sorry then, but no one really created much of an issue about it, because he was good, and good enough to still have coaches respect his play, despite how lame his team was. Blake would be great to start there, but even if he doesn’t start, he should still get on the team. If Blake doesn’t make the team, it would match the nonsensical act of leaving then-Cleveland Cavs rookie LeBron James off of the 2004 All-Star team, despite Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce having in an inferior year by comparison. (Note: That last statement wasn’t a numerically based opinion; I watched Paul that year. He was mailing it in and pouting his way through that season and wasn’t the best option over LBJ when he was a 20-5-5 rookie.)

I don’t understand the people who make basketball decisions when it comes to Larry Brown. I know Larry’s charismatic, I know he’s an old-timer with a pedigree, I know he’s been around the game for half-a-century. We all know this about Larry Brown, because that’s what gets him his jobs. Though it may not be a popular opinion, for just for the sake of career comparison, Larry Brown is a hooker. Or at least he plays one on TV. Seriously, think about it:Larry Brown

He goes on the NBA equivalent of a corner (in front of a microphone or reporter’s pen and pad), waves his hands around (glares into the camera…) and makes a paradoxically, subtly large move for some NBA general manager to notice him (“sources” will report he “loves” the way [whatever team he falls in lust with at the moment] runs their ballclub). Then he’ll talk his way into a “car” (negotiate with another team through his lawyer or agent while still employed by another squad), the money’s exchanged (said negotiation comes to an agreement with team for a position he’s has yet to walk into because he’s still coaching another team — usually in the Playoffs, of all times), and by the time the 15 minutes of play time are up (1-3 seasons, depending on how “sick” of the team he is), the team that agreed to get serviced is contemplating backhanding him for his poor execution (the team that Larry’s pulling the run-around on finds out he’s gotten into bed with another franchise, becomes indignant, and has to save face). It sounds rough, but the truth is raw.

And yes, I know, I know — “He’s a champion,” “he’s a winner” and this and that, but he’s a hooker. And even he loves to save his best performances for the camera, so he’s got a dual career as an actor, too. Even porn stars get awards. It’s annoying to me that as great as a teacher he is, he’s so loathing of the situations that he practically begs to get in. It’s insane, and then he whines when he doesn’t have his way just to a “T,” leaves the team (with his guaranteed money, mind you), and somehow, just somehow, he still has that bright and shiny new car smell, even though we know he’s been tricking for years now. It just needs to end, and teams really need to quit letting him have his way. It’s mindless, and it usually sets teams back somehow, because he doesn’t leave them much better off after he’s done with them; his favored personnel (that he stomps his feet about and insists upon) may or may not be malleable enough as a collective roster for the team to trade away or be used in the way that another successor can easily make due with.

He may bring your team into the Playoffs and help bring up those attendance numbers for your home games for a little while, but I’m telling you right now, Various NBA Teams, that the return on your investment in him is going to be disappointing in the long-term scheme of things. Larry Brown isn’t Julia Roberts, so I ask that you please quit treating him as such. Wiving him up could lead you to your imminent demise. Protect your assets. (No pun intended.)

Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast whose work has been published by US News, Yahoo!, featured in Robert Atwan’s “America Now“, and now in Buckets and Playmaker magazines. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.

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  • arthur


  • D-Block

    I agree with the B-Griffin bit, but Larry Brown? C’mon son…you were wrong for that.

  • Nella

    Preach on Larry Brown. What he’s done in the last 5-6 years is pretty lame. Anyone can see that. Great breakdown.

  • tavoris

    @Nella-5-6? try fifteen. Dude is making like 25 million this year off of three teams.

  • JL

    yup I’m tired of Larry Brown’s manipulative ways. Usually it’s franchises firing their coaches. This guy’s head is so big that he needs to trade whole teams rather than work with his current personnel, and eventually removes himself from the team that he screws up yet still being paid. Other guys are happy to have a coaching gig while he acts like a prima donna and keeps getting new jobs because of his rep. Really if you look at the gains he provided to the ball clubs they might not outweigh the losses. Sure he brought the pistons a championship, but what else has he done?

  • Nella

    @ Tavoris

    I only said 5-6 because I was giving him credit for winning a title in 2004. Like the author says, you can get away with a lot of stuff if you’re winning. When you haven’t recently, all the BS is more glaring.

  • http://PlaymakerOnline.com Adam Sweeney

    Nice piece, Sandy. I am puzzled as to why teams still hire him. The Bobcats had a good season last year but is it worth the distraction? I’m not so sure.

    People can disagree, as they’re entitled to, but you have to respect the bold statement. Now if I see Richard Gere showing up next to Brown, then we have something.

  • http://Thestartingfive.net Michael TIllery

    When he was hired in Philly, I didn’t like the move despite the Sixers eventual appearance in the Finals. Can’t dig the nomad act and how he did Jalen Rose in Indy still makes me sick.

    For all the slobber he’s gotten over the years, he has one NBA championship.


    I give him props for Danny and the Miracles, but think he’s better suited as a GM.

    Dig the tone of the piece Mr. Dover.

  • ronish jacob

    i dont like how larry brown always wants to have everything his way either but i do believe that he is a good coach. when he first came to the bobcats, they went from a team that didnt play on either end to a really good defensive team. and yea they completely suck this year but the first two years that was something. if only he were a little more loyal and committed then he couldve been one of the best coaches of all time

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    If He is a hooker what does that make Phil Jackson… A wart? Just keeps appearing in all those ‘high traffic’ places??

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    I appreciate the love, guys. It’s not really to slander the man, because he’s great, but he’s a rolling stone when it comes to business. Obviously, he doesn’t care too much.

  • raptor87

    At least the Raps Made the playoffs a few times with bosh….