When Larry Brown arrived in Detroit in the 2003-04 season, he inherited a team that couldn’t get over the hump and get to the NBA Finals. In one season he turned them into the best team in the Association, knocking off the heavily favored and loaded Los Angeles Lakers in The Finals.
After Phil Jackson turned them down recently, Brown is the best choice for the Brooklyn Nets as they search for a new head coach.
Over the course of a long and nomadic career, Brown — who was born in Brooklyn — he has compiled 1,327 wins and 1,011 losses (a 56.8 winning percentage). He is also 120-115 in the postseason and has missed the playoffs just nine times in a 31 seasons.
Currently, he is the Southern Methodist University head coach, but the Nets job has to be tempting since he has two young children in Philadelphia. Brown’s last NBA coaching job was the Charlotte Bobcats, where he posted an 88-104 record over 2 1/3 seasons.
The Nets have to be appealing since the Nets have a pretty solid talent base in center Brook Lopez, point guard Deron Williams and shooting guard Joe Johnson. Brown’s coaching could make all the difference as it did in Motown. The resemblance is uncanny. Chauncey Billups was a journeyman until Brown showed up and was able to get C-Bill to achieve better results as a captain of the Pistons offense.
Williams gives Brown an All-Star-caliber player to work with and he could help D-Will development even further.
Brown also had a good shooting guard in Hamilton. Hamilton was never really an elite shooter, but he was good. Johnson is constantly being called overrated, mainly because of an insane contract given to him by the Hawks, but could be a solid third option on a very good team. J.J. can handle the ball and also fill up the basket.
Brown had a strong defensive small forward in Tayshaun Prince. In Brooklyn, he’ll have a similar player in Gerald Wallace. Wallace might not be as good as he once was, but he gives the Nets a good defender to throw out there against the league’s top forwards such as Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.
Forward Reggie Evans provides the hustle and rebounds at the power forward position, much like Ben Wallace did for Detroit at the center position.
Lopez, a 7-footer who became an All-Star in 2013, would give Brown one of the top low-post scorers in the game.
I think Brown would be able to get the most out of these players, and the Nets would be a lot better next season.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.