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Hubie Brown Decides to Retire

Citing health reasons, the 71-year-old Memphis coach steps down. Lionel Hollins is named interim coach.

November 26, 2004|From Associated Press

Hubie Brown retired as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday due to health reasons.

"Unexpected health-related issues will not allow me to continue coaching the Memphis Grizzlies," the 71-year-old Brown said in a statement.

"This situation was unforeseen and absolutely nonexistent at the beginning of the season."

Assistant coach Lionel Hollins was named interim coach, club President Jerry West said.

Brown was not available for comment Thursday. The team scheduled a news conference for today.

"This is an extremely sad day for me," West said in a statement. "This franchise is by far better from the leadership and guidance of Hubie Brown, and we will be forever grateful to Hubie."

Brown was the oldest coach in the NBA when he returned to the league in 2002 after a 16-year break.

He was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks in the late 1970s and 1980s. After being fired by the Knicks, Brown became a TV basketball analyst.

He returned to the league on Nov. 12, 2002, when he joined the Grizzlies in their second season after leaving Vancouver, where the franchise was founded in 1995.

Brown had an 83-85 record with the Grizzlies.

He was named NBA coach of the year last season after leading Memphis to a 50-32 record and its first playoff appearance.

Brown retired one day after the Grizzlies lost to the Seattle SuperSonics, 93-84, and slipped to 5-7.

During the game, Brown was active, arguing with officials, calling out plays and checking on players when they were injured.

Much was expected of the Grizzlies this season, but they have been hampered by injuries.

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Looking Back

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Hubie Brown's NBA coaching record:

*--* Season Team Rec Playoffs 1976-77 Atlanta 31-51 -- 1977-78 Atlanta 41-41 L. in East first rd. 1978-79 Atlanta 46-36 L. in East semis 1979-80 Atlanta 50-32 L. in East semis 1980-81 Atlanta 31-48 -- 1982-83 New York 44-38 L. in East semis 1983-84 New York 47-35 L. in East semis 1984-85 New York 24-58 -- 1985-86 New York 23-59 -- 1986-87 New York 4-12 -- 2002-03 Memphis 28-46 -- 2003-04 Memphis 50-32 L. in West first rd. 2004-05 Memphis 5-7 --

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