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LAKERS VS. DETROIT | PISTON NOTES

Brown Humors the Lakers Now

June 09, 2004|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

Detroit Piston Coach Larry Brown was caught demeaning the Laker defense by an in-huddle ABC camera in Game 1, but he said Tuesday he doesn't consider microphones an intrusion during timeouts.

Brown was heard telling his players they could "get any shot" they wanted Sunday against the Lakers, comments the Lakers used as motivation for Tuesday's game.

Brown crafted a response with humor.

"Well, I've got this new thing. I can tell them, 'They can guard us, let's go home,' " Brown quipped.

"I've always felt comfortable with people being in the huddle, because I think so many times people don't realize coaches try to coach. So I don't have a problem with that."

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Brown was on a roll before Game 2 with his self-deprecating sound bites.

Brown said his motivational techniques often don't work and suggested that Laker Coach Phil Jackson did a better job in that category, dating to the Lakers' five-game victory in the 2001 NBA Finals over the Philadelphia 76ers, whom Brown coached at the time.

"Phil has a lot of things that I don't have, and I understand that, but everybody [has] asked me about motivation," Brown said. "Prior to this series with Philly [in 2001], I used to play Kirk Gibson hitting a home run and Willis [Reed] walking out on the court, and ... Isiah [Thomas] playing with that bad ankle [in the 1988 Finals against the Lakers].

"Some of my players were hurt in Philly that I thought maybe could have played and they would say to the press, 'God, coach is a great motivator.' The guy I was trying to motivate never played."

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Karl Malone limped, Gary Payton pouted and Kobe Bryant missed 17 shots in Game 1, but the Pistons weren't buying into the end of the Lakers.

"They're the Lakers," Piston forward Ben Wallace said. "They've already been through what few other NBA teams, or professional teams, for that matter, could take. We know they're going to come back and play. They've got two of the top players in the world."

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Wallace, a two-time NBA defensive player of the year, on defending Shaquille O'Neal: "There ain't any keys. You just go out there and get ready to take a whooping. No techniques, no tricks work. You know exactly what he's going to do, and there isn't much that can stop him. Just the wall."

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