Larry Brown to SMU? Perfect

In his Hall of Fame career, Larry Brown has coached NBA teams to 1,520 victories in the regular season and playoffs, led ABA teams to 271 victories and college teams to 177 victories. For those counting, Brown has left a basketball game 1,968 times as a winner.

That means at his next stop, Brown is very likely to celebrate win No. 2,000 and he made it clear last week that he certainly would like to have a next stop.

“I just want to be a resource in some way, or coach or be involved – whether it’s as an assistant, or head coach, or if they want me to mentor somebody,” Brown told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News . He then went on to say, “I’m going to be doing something in basketball, whether it’s in the NBA as a coach or a GM or an assistant, whatever, or something in college. I don’t know what, but I just feel like I need to stay on and pass along what I’ve been taught.”

Townsend was interviewing the 71-year-old Brown because there had been some whispers that Brown was attracted by the open SMU head coaching position in Dallas. When asked point blank if he’d be interested in the job, Brown said:


Besides compiling 1,968 victories, Brown has established himself as one of the great eye-rollers in sports history. And that’s among his friends.

As basketball fans know, Brown has coached 10 professional teams and two college teams. His longest tenure at one job was six years in Philadelphia. He was at a job two or fewer years in six places. It has often been the case with Brown that when he is somewhere, he’s happiest thinking about being somewhere else.

But SMU? Yes, it’s a Division I program that has played basketball for 95 seasons. But not very successfully. The Mustangs have made only 10 NCAA appearances and had one trip to the Final Four – in 1956. At their last home game this year, 3,300 attended.

And Larry’s interested?


And thousands of Brown’s friends rolled their eyes again. That’s just Larry being Larry. SMU? Come on.

But Villanova coach Jay Wright, who has welcomed Brown to his practices the last two seasons,explained Brown to the New York Daily News.

“He needs to coach like he needs oxygen,” Wright said. “He needs to be part of something. It’s what drives him. He just loves it so much.”

Brown to SMU creates a mild personal dilemma for me. I am a graduate of SMU and like any alumnus, I’d enjoy seeing my alma mater be more successful.

At the same time, I’ve found the tendency of writers to openly cheer for their favorite teams a little uncomfortable. I was trained at a time when there were exacting rules on showing or not showing allegiance to a team.

It still is common in press boxes across the country for an announcement to be made saying, “This is a professional working environment. There will be no cheering in the press box.” Keep in mind that announcement is made by the home team.

The proliferation of sports coverage on radio, cable TV and on the web has changed the makeup of those commenting on or analyzing sports.

(To see the remainder of the column that appeared on, click here)

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