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Brown Set to Coach the Pistons

Former 76er reportedly will be introduced today after agreeing to a five-year deal worth $25 million.

June 02, 2003|From Associated Press

DETROIT — Larry Brown agreed to a five-year, $25-million deal to be the next coach of the Detroit Pistons, a source within the league said Sunday.

Piston spokesman Matt Dobek said the team will introduce its new head coach today at an 11 a.m. PDT news conference at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Dobek would not confirm that Brown is the coach.

Brown replaces Rick Carlisle, who was fired Saturday. Brown did not return phone calls to his home over the weekend.

"Larry Brown is obviously a great coach and his record speaks for itself," Carlisle said Sunday. "That's a great hire."

Carlisle was asked if he thought Brown was hired before he was fired.

"I'm not going to get into that," Carlisle said.

Brown resigned as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers on May 26 after six seasons.

Carlisle was fired with one year and $2 million left on his contract despite winning two straight division titles, 100 regular-season games, a coach-of-the-year award and leading the Pistons to two playoff series victories for the first time since 1991.

Carlisle, thought to be a possible replacement in Portland if Maurice Cheeks were to leave for Brown's old 76er job, is unsure whether he wants to pursue a coaching job right away or take a year off to be a television analyst.

"I'll just let this week play out and we'll see what happens," Carlisle said Sunday.

Brown, 62, had two years left on a contract that paid him $6 million per season in Philadelphia.

He also coached Denver (five years), Indiana (four years), San Antonio (three years), New Jersey (two years), Carolina of the ABA (two years) and the Clippers (18 months). Brown also coached two years at UCLA and 3 1/2 years at Kansas.

Brown's tenure with the 76ers was his longest in his 31-year coaching career. He led the 76ers to the playoffs for five straight seasons, including the 2001 NBA Finals, and will coach the U.S. men's national team this summer at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico.

He has an 879-685 record in the NBA, and is 1,285-853 overall, including ABA and college. Brown won an NCAA title with Kansas in 1988, and is the first coach to take six NBA teams to the playoffs.

Brown will inherit a team that has the No. 2 pick in the June 26 draft. Detroit likely will select a scorer -- Darko Milicic of Serbia and Montenegro or Syracuse's Carmelo Anthony -- to complement a young nucleus of Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and rookies Mehmet Okur and Tayshaun Prince.

Brown's brother, Herb, was head coach of the Pistons from 1975-76 through 1977-78.

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