Larry Brown (basketball)
Brown in 2005
September 14, 1940|
Brooklyn, New York
|Listed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Listed weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
(Lido Beach, New York)
|College||North Carolina (1960–1963)|
|NBA draft||1963 / Round: 7 / Pick: 55th overall|
|Selected by the Baltimore Bullets|
|1967–1968||New Orleans Buccaneers|
|1968–1971||Oakland Oaks / Washington Caps / Virginia Squires|
|1965–1967||North Carolina (assistant)|
|1981–1983||New Jersey Nets|
|1988–1992||San Antonio Spurs|
|1992–1993||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2005–2006||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career ABA statistics|
|Points||4,229 (11.2 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,005 (2.7 rpg)|
|Assists||2,509 (6.7 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as coach|
College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Lawrence Harvey Brown (born September 14, 1940) is an American basketball coach and former player. He is the head coach for Auxilium Torino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) and EuroCup Basketball. Brown is the only coach in basketball history to win both an NCAA national championship (Kansas Jayhawks, 1988) and an NBA title (Detroit Pistons, 2004). He has a 1,275-965 lifetime professional coaching record in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) and is the only coach in NBA history to lead eight teams to the playoffs. He also won an ABA championship as a player with the Oakland Oaks in the 1968–69 season, and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1964. He is also the only person ever to coach two NBA franchises in the same season (Spurs and Clippers during the 1991–92 NBA season). Before coaching, Brown played collegiately at the University of North Carolina and professionally in the ABA. He has been a basketball coach since 1972.
Brown was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on September 27, 2002. Although widely considered one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, he has developed a reputation for constantly looking for better coaching opportunities and frequently switching teams or programs before the expiration of his contract.
- 1 Early life
- 2 As a player
- 3 As a coach
- 4 Head coaching record
- 5 Achievements
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Brown is Jewish, and was born in Brooklyn, New York. His maternal grandfather Hittelman was from Minsk, Belarus, and his mother's family immigrated to the United States in 1910 and opened a bakery in Brooklyn. His mother met his father Milton Brown, a furniture salesman, when she was 26 years old. He has an older brother, Herbert, who has been an NBA head coach. In 1947 his father died suddenly of an aneurysm. His family moved first to Brooklyn, then to Long Beach, New York, on Long Island. His mother lived until the age of 106.
As a player
He played at the University of North Carolina under legendary coaches Frank McGuire and Dean Smith, and was All-Atlantic Coast Conference in 1963. A stellar player for the Tar Heels in the early 1960s, Brown was considered too small to play in the NBA and so began his post-college career with the NABL's Akron Wingfoots, where he played for two years (1964–65). During that time Brown was selected for the 1964 Summer Olympics team, on which he played and with which he won a gold medal, while also leading the Wingfoots to the 1964 AAU National Championship.
After a brief stint as an assistant coach at North Carolina, Brown joined the upstart American Basketball Association, playing with the New Orleans Buccaneers (1967–68), Oakland Oaks (1968–69), Washington Caps (1969–70), Virginia Squires (1970–71), and Denver Rockets (1971–72). Brown was named MVP of the ABA's first All-Star Game in 1968, and was named to the All-ABA Second Team the same year. Brown led the ABA in assists per game during the league's first three seasons, and when he ended his playing career, Brown was the ABA's all-time assist leader. His total of 2,509 assists places him seventh on the ABA's career list, and he holds the ABA record for assists in a game with 23. He was a three-time ABA All-Star.
As a coach
Brown's first head coaching job was at Davidson College in North Carolina in 1969. Unfortunately for Wildcat fans, it would only last during the summer offseason and he never coached a game. Brown moved on to the ABA and coached with the Carolina Cougars and then the Denver Nuggets, who later joined the NBA in 1976, for five and a half seasons from 1974 to 1979. He then moved on to coach for UCLA (1979–1981), leading his freshman-dominated 1979–80 team to the NCAA title game before falling to Louisville, 59–54. However, that appearance was later vacated by the NCAA after two UCLA players were found to be ineligible—one of the few times a Final Four squad has had its record vacated. Brown was the head coach for the NBA's New Jersey Nets for two years following that, from 1981 to 1983.
1983–1988: University of Kansas
Brown began his tenure at the University of Kansas (1983–1988), replacing the fired Ted Owens, who had overseen back-to-back losing seasons in 1981-82 and 1982-83. Brown's impact was felt almost immediately, as the 1983-84 Jayhawks put together a 22-10 record, finished in second place in that year's Big 8 standings upset Oklahoma to win the 1984 Big 8 Tournament, and advanced to the 1984 NCAA Tournament's Round of 32 before losing to Wake Forest. In the meantime Brown signed the most coveted high school player in the country, Danny Manning, to play for KU after signing his father, Ed Manning, to a position as an assistant coach.
Perhaps Brown's finest team at Kansas was the 1985-86 team. This squad put together a 35-4 record, the first 30-win season in KU history. They won the Big 8 regular season title for the first time since 1978, defeated Iowa State to win the 1986 Big 8 Tournament, and advanced to the 1986 Final Four before losing to Duke in the semifinals.
In the 1987-88 season, Kansas got off to a mediocre 12–8 start, including 1–4 in the Big 8, and the end of the Jayhawks' 55-game homecourt winning streak in Allen Fieldhouse. Ultimately, behind the high-scoring of Danny Manning, KU rallied to win nine of their next twelve games to finish third place in the Big 8 and qualify for the 1988 NCAA Tournament as a 6-seed in the Midwest Regional. Kansas then proceeded to defeat 11th-seed Xavier, 14th-seed Murray State, and 7th-seed Vanderbilt before meeting rival Kansas State, which had beaten KU twice in three meetings that year. KU upset the 4th-seeded Wildcats 71-58 in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four in Kansas City's Kemper Arena. Once there, Kansas upset the East Region's #2 seed Duke, 66-59, avenging an overtime loss at home to the Blue Devils earlier in the season. Two nights later, the Jayhawks, who became known as "Danny and the Miracles", upset the Southeast Region's #1-seed and fellow Big 8 rival Oklahoma, 83-79, to avenge a regular-season sweep by the Sooners and win the 1988 NCAA championship. Manning, who scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in the final, was named Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. Kansas concluded the year 27-11; the 11 losses remain a record for most losses by an NCAA champion to this day.
Two months later, Brown opted to return to professional coaching, departing KU for the San Antonio Spurs. In his five seasons at Kansas, Brown had one Big 8 regular season title, two Big 8 postseason titles, five NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16 appearances, two trips to the Final Four, and one national title. As a collegiate coach, he had a cumulative coaching record of 177–61 (.744) in seven seasons, including a 135–44 (.754) record at Kansas. His efforts led to him being named "Coach of the Year" for the NCAA in 1988 and "Coach of the Year" for the Big Eight Conference in 1986.
After leaving to return to the NBA, NCAA sanctions were levied against Kansas in the 1988–89 season as a result of recruiting violations, for potential transfer Vincent Askew who was provided with money to leave his campus visit to visit his grandmother who was ill. No players on any of Brown's teams were named in the report and Askew did not transfer to Kansas. Among the sanctions, Kansas was banned from the 1989 NCAA Tournament—the only time a reigning champion has been banned from defending its title.
NBA jobs after leaving Kansas
Brown moved back to the NBA after his time in Kansas, taking the head coaching job with the San Antonio Spurs, and has led the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers (where he won the NBA's top coaching award and led the team to the 2001 NBA Finals), Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and Charlotte Bobcats.
2003–2005: Detroit Pistons
Brown won his first (and ultimately only) NBA Championship during his first year with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one in the 2004 NBA Finals. By doing so, Brown became the first, and so far only, man to coach teams to both NCAA and NBA titles. Brown is also the only NBA coach to take two teams (76ers and Pistons) to the NBA Finals against the same opponent (Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 and 2004), lose the first time, and win the second.
Brown was also chosen as the head coach for the USA men's basketball team at the 2004 Summer Olympics which earned a bronze medal, a major disappointment. Brown was heavily criticized for publicly berating the players, for repeatedly criticizing the roster chosen by the player selection committee, and for insisting on a style of play which minimized the United States' advantage in athleticism.
In May 2005, rumors surfaced that Brown would become the Cleveland Cavaliers' team president as soon as the Detroit Pistons finished their postseason. The rumor, which was not dispelled by Brown, became a major distraction as the Pistons lost to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games in the 2005 NBA Finals.
On July 19, 2005, the Pistons, displeased with Brown's public flirtations with other teams, bought out the remaining years of Brown's contract, allowing him to sign with another team. A week later, on July 28, 2005, Brown became the head coach of the New York Knicks, with a 5-year contract reportedly worth between US$50 million and $60 million, making him the highest-paid coach in NBA history.
2005–2006: New York Knicks
On January 13, 2006, the Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks to give Brown his 1,000th win in the NBA, making him only the fourth coach to do so joining the ranks of Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson, and Pat Riley. Coincidentally, all four of these coaches have served as head coach for the Knicks at one point in their career.
Brown's tenure as Knicks head coach lasted one season, as the team fired him on June 23, 2006, after he led the team to a disastrous 23–59 record. Brown's season with the Knicks was marred by public feuds with his own players, most notably point guard Stephon Marbury.
2008–2010: Charlotte Bobcats (Charlotte Hornets)
On April 29, 2008, Brown signed to become the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats – his ninth NBA coaching job. He managed to keep the relatively young team in playoff contention. The following season, Brown guided the Bobcats to the franchise's first-ever playoff appearance. Charlotte was the 8th team he had led to the postseason, an NBA record.
On December 22, 2010, Brown parted ways with the Bobcats after the team went 9–19. His departure was officially characterized as a resignation, but other sources reported that Brown was fired. Assistant coach Jeff Capel II told The Charlotte Observer that the entire coaching staff had been fired.
On April 17, 2012, ESPN reported that Brown was to be named the new head coach of the SMU Mustangs, replacing Matt Doherty, who had been fired from SMU earlier in March. Tim Jankovich, the head coach of Illinois State, was hired as the coach-in-waiting.
After a rebuilding season in 2012–2013 (15-17), Brown brought SMU into the national conversation the following year, leading the team to a 27-10 record in the 2013–2014 season. SMU swept the eventual National Champion University of Connecticut Huskies in conference play and was the most notable team not to be let into the NCAA Tournament field of sixty-eight. SMU went on to be the overall number one seed in the National Invitational Tournament, losing in the final game of the tournament to Minnesota. For the 2014–2015 season Brown secured the services of the top ranked point guard in the nation, Emmanuel Mudiay, over the likes of the Kentucky and Kansas. Before ever playing a game for the Mustangs, Mudiay elected to play professionally in China and forgo his amateur status. On September 29, 2015, Brown was suspended by the NCAA for 30% of the Mustangs' games in the upcoming 2015–2016 season, and the team was banned from 2016 post-season play, placed on probation for 3 years, and lost 9 scholarships over a 3-year period, due to a lack of head coach control. The NCAA found that Brown failed to report violations when a former administrative assistant committed academic fraud on behalf of a student-athlete and he initially lied to enforcement staff about his knowledge of the potential violations.
Brown was the faculty advisor for the SMU student spirit group that supports campus athletics programs named "The MOB", as Brown is known as "The Godfather".
On July 8, 2016 Brown announced his resignation as head basketball coach.
On June 12, 2018 Brown accepted the proposal of Auxilium Torino to became the new head coach of the Italian basketball club of the Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). On June 17, he officially became new head coach of Torino.
Though he has received criticism for never staying in any one place for very long, Brown is hailed as one of basketball's greatest teachers, and is well known for turning losers into winners. The Nets and the Clippers are not only the "second teams" in their metropolitan areas, but have long been regarded as laughingstock franchises. Prior to the 2001 arrival of Jason Kidd, the Nets had made the playoffs in only 10 of their first 25 seasons in the NBA. Two of those 10 times were in 1982 and 1983, under Brown. The Clippers, in San Diego and Los Angeles combined, made the playoffs in only three of their first 27 seasons. Two of those three playoff appearances, in 1992 and 1993, were under Brown. Those were also the second and third of the three times the franchise had finished .500 or better since moving in 1978, after being the Buffalo Braves, until finishing over .500 and making the playoffs in 2006. The Spurs had been an NBA power for most of the 1980s, but faltered for several years after the departure of George Gervin before crashing to the worst record in the league in 1988–89, Brown's first season. In his second season, however, the Spurs made the biggest single-season improvement in NBA history at the time, leaping all the way to a division title. The Pacers had been an also-ran for most of the time since coming from the ABA, with only three winning seasons in their first 18 years in the league. However, Brown led them to their first two finishes better than two games over .500, as well as their first division title as an NBA team.
Head coaching record
ABA and NBA
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Carolina*||1972–73||84||57||27||.679||1st in East||12||7||5||.583||Lost in Division Finals|
|Carolina*||1973–74||84||47||37||.560||3rd in East||4||0||4||.000||Lost in Division Semifinals|
|Denver*||1974–75||84||65||19||.774||1st in West||13||7||6||.538||Lost in Division Finals|
|Denver*||1975–76||84||60||24||.714||1st in West||13||6||7||.462||Lost in ABA Finals|
|Denver||1976–77||82||50||32||.610||1st in Midwest||6||2||4||.333||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Denver||1977–78||82||48||34||.585||1st in Midwest||13||6||7||.462||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|New Jersey||1981–82||82||44||38||.537||3rd in Atlantic||2||0||2||.000||Lost in First Round|
|San Antonio||1988–89||82||21||61||.256||5th in Midwest||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|San Antonio||1989–90||82||56||26||.683||1st in Midwest||10||6||4||.600||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|San Antonio||1990–91||82||55||27||.671||1st in Midwest||4||1||3||.250||Lost in First Round|
|L.A. Clippers||1991–92||35||23||12||.657||5th in Pacific||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|L.A. Clippers||1992–93||82||41||41||.500||5th in Pacific||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|Indiana||1993–94||82||47||35||.573||4th in Central||16||10||6||.625||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|Indiana||1994–95||82||52||30||.634||1st in Central||17||10||7||.588||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|Indiana||1995–96||82||52||30||.634||2nd in Central||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|Indiana||1996–97||82||39||43||.476||6th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Philadelphia||1997–98||82||31||51||.378||7th in Atlantic||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Philadelphia||1998–99||50||28||22||.560||3rd in Atlantic||8||3||5||.375||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Philadelphia||1999–00||82||49||33||.598||3rd in Atlantic||10||5||5||.500||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Philadelphia||2000–01||82||56||26||.683||1st in Atlantic||23||12||11||.522||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Philadelphia||2001–02||82||43||39||.524||4th in Atlantic||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|Philadelphia||2002–03||82||48||34||.585||2nd in Atlantic||12||6||6||.500||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Detroit||2003–04||82||54||28||.659||2nd in Central||23||16||7||.696||Won NBA Championship|
|Detroit||2004–05||82||54||28||.659||1st in Central||25||15||10||.600||Lost in NBA Finals|
|New York||2005–06||82||23||59||.280||5th in Atlantic||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||2008–09||82||35||47||.427||4th in Southeast||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||2009–10||82||44||38||.537||3rd in Southeast||4||0||4||.000||Lost in First Round|
|UCLA Bruins (Pacific-10 Conference) (1979–1981)|
|1979–80||UCLA||22–10 (17-9)||12–6||4th||NCAA Runner-up (vacated)*|
|1980–81||UCLA||20–7||13–5||3rd||NCAA Second Round|
|UCLA:||37–16 (.698)||25–11 (.694)|
|Kansas Jayhawks (Big Eight Conference) (1983–1988)|
|1983–84||Kansas||22–10||9–5||2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|1984–85||Kansas||26–8||11–3||2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|1985–86||Kansas||35–4||13–1||1st||NCAA Final Four|
|1986–87||Kansas||25–11||9–5||T–2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|Kansas:||135–44 (.754)||51–19 (.729)|
|SMU Mustangs (Conference USA) (2012–2013)|
|SMU Mustangs (American Athletic Conference) (2013–2016)|
|2014–15||SMU||27–7||15–3||1st||NCAA Round of 64|
|SMU:||94–39 (.707)||45–24 (.652)|
Postseason invitational champion
- 1973: Carolina Cougars: ABA Eastern Division regular season champions
- 1975: Denver Nuggets: ABA Western Division regular season champions
- 1976: Denver Nuggets: ABA regular season champions (single-division)
- 1977: Denver Nuggets: NBA Midwest Division Champions
- 1978: Denver Nuggets: NBA Midwest Division Champions
- 1980: UCLA: NCAA Championship Game
- 1984: Kansas: Big Eight Conference Tournament Champions
- 1986: Kansas: NCAA Final Four & Big Eight Conference & Tournament Champions
- 1988: Kansas: NCAA National Champions
- 1990: San Antonio Spurs: NBA Midwest Division Champions
- 1991: San Antonio Spurs: NBA Midwest Division Champions
- 1995: Indiana Pacers: NBA Central Division Champions
- 2001: Philadelphia 76ers: NBA Eastern Conference Champions
- 2004: Detroit Pistons: NBA Champions
- 2005: Detroit Pistons: NBA Eastern Conference Champions
- 2015: SMU Mustangs: American Athletic Conference Champions
- College: 1 National Championship, 3 Final Fours in 7 seasons
- Pro: 1 Championship, 3 Conference Championships, 10 Division Championships, 18 Playoff appearances in 26 seasons, 1,098 career NBA wins
- List of NCAA Division I Men's Final Four appearances by coach
- List of select Jewish basketball players
- "Lawrence "Larry" Brown". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- Gerstner, Joanne C. (April 14, 2010). "Are Brown's Eyes Wandering Again?". The New York Times.
- Paul Taylor. Jews and the Olympic Games: the ... Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame - Joseph M. Siegman
- What Makes Larry Run?
- Grasso, John (2015). Historical Dictionary of Basketball. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 67 pp. ISBN 978-1442255333.
- Larry Brown
- The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 209. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
- Brown, Larry : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum
- "Larry Brown Resigns at Davidson". Reading Eagle. July 3, 1969.
- AP (1988-11-02). "N.C.A.A. Acts Against Kansas". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "PISTONS: Larry Brown Relieved of His Coaching Duties". Nba.com. July 19, 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "Contract had three years, $18 million left – NBA". ESPN. July 19, 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "Knicks Name Larry Brown as Head Coach". Nba.com. July 28, 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- List of New York Knicks coaches
- "Knicks fire Brown, name Thomas new coach". ESPN. June 23, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "Brown returns to Carolina to coach Bobcats". ESPN. April 30, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- Bonnell, Rick. Brown fired as Charlotte Bobcats head coach; Silas takes over[permanent dead link] The Charlotte Observer, 2010-12-23.
- "Coach Larry Brown, Bobcats part ways". ESPN. December 22, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- Katz, Andy. "Tim Jankovich agrees to be SMU coach-in-waiting". ESPN. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "NCAA bans SMU from 2016 postseason". ESPN. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- Column, Guest (2016-04-02). "The Mob: One body, one purpose". Smudailycampus.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "Larry Brown resigns from SMU". KUsports.com. 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "Larry Brown to become Fiat Torino head coach". sportando.basketball. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
- "Larry Brown officially signs a 1+1 contract with Fiat Torino". sportando.basketball. Retrieved 17 June 2018.