Saturday, May 28, 2005

IS LARRY BROWN GROOMING TOM IZZO TO REPLACE HIM?

Many of us have come to the conclusion that Larry Brown won't coach the Pistons next season. That decision was made a long time ago -- even before the brawl at The Palace and Brown's latest surgery.
So who replaces him? I'd put my money on Flip Saunders. But don't be surprised if Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo becomes the next Pistons coach and his buddy Tom Crean moves from Milwaukee to East Lansing.
Brown is down. He is tired, burned out and hurting. One of my league sources told me Brown talked about retirement during training camp. It is a story that has circulated with the old heads in the league for a while.
Even if Brown did not have health issues he would leave the game because of burn out.
The drain of coaching in the NBA is enough for a young man. It is more difficult for a man who is 64 and in constant pain. Brown is fragile enough that I do not want him coaching the Pistons next season.
He would be drained and unmotivated.
Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg does present an interesting debate about Brown. The Rose Man is stressed over all of Brown's flirtations with other teams. He said people have been relatively calm over this. And he said the standards would be different and the outrage too loud to describe if Tayshaun Prince's representatives had talked to another team during the playoffs.
He is right.
However, Brown cannot help it if people contact his representatives. It is something that happens quite frequently in the NBA. Teams secretly call coaches or GM's to see if they are happy and if they might be interested in trying something new should things not work out with their old team.
Everybody knows Brown is about to jet town. The Cavs know he won't coach next season. But what about having Brown in the front office should he decide he wants to coach the following season? The Cavs would have their man right under their noses.
Ninety percent of these secret conversations never become public. The problem with Brown is he built a network of media owls in New York, Philadelphia and Boston who have watched over him and leaked things that might benefit him.
These guys know every time Brown sneezes and they leak information he does not want to become public.
His best plan of action for the next 12 months is to do nothing. He should call Cleveland and say "thanks but no thanks" to the general manager's job. He should tell Pistons President Joe Dumars that he needs time away from the game as soon as the playoffs are over.
All the things we've read in the paper the past few weeks are nothing new for Dumars. Mentally he has juggled a list of possible replacements for much of the season.
That brings us to Izzo. He recently talked to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Grand Rapids about becoming head coach of that franchise. He won't take that job.
I am convinced Izzo is on the Pistons or bust campaign. Izzo and Brown have formed a bond the past two years. They've met several times in the Pistons practice facility and Izzo has sat in on a few practices and coaches meetings.
It is almost as if Brown is grooming him for the job, telling him how to handle practice and players, how to deal with league officials and the media. My guess is Brown is Izzo's Yoda. He is laying the ground work for Izzo to join the NBA fraternity if he so chooses.
We know Pistons owner Bill Davidson loves Izzo. That is enough to get him the job even if Dumars objects.
Stay tuned. Something strange is about to happen.
(You can email me at Fosternews@aol.com. My voice mail is 313-222-1494

9 Comments:

Blogger billionaire said...

Dang so I must throw in the towel. I thought if detroit wins one more championship that Brown would take the summer off recharge his batteries and return. If you look at it the team is built to last a good 3 years. Now who can come in and replace Brown I really don;t know. This is a veteran team who will need a coach who pays attention to detail that they can respect and in turn respect them and have the X and O ability. I am not sold on Saunders and Izzo I don;t feel is ready plus his personality would rub folks the wrong way. How about Joe Dumars

11:14 AM

 
Blogger Kevin Antcliff said...

I know I'm a "slappy", but I would love to see Bill Laimbeer before we see Izzo. Laimbeer will bring a reinforcement of the roughneck, blue collar style that we already excel at, and you know the players will respect him instantly.

Izzo may fare well, he may not. He's never coached on a pro level, so he'd just be an experiment in my eyes.

That said, he does make as much sense as anybody, so it should be interesting to see what happens.

8:25 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

billionaire,
I think Brown is teaching Izzo how to deal with NBA players and the pressure that goes with it. And Flip Saunders is a very good coach. When you look around the league there is a very short list of people who players would respect and play for.
Who else do you have in mind? I would not be surprised with a Phil Jackson sighting.

2:42 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Kevin,
I am not completely sold on Laimbeer, but I am getting there. He would teach these guys how to be tougher. But the thing about him is he is a better communicator than I thought he would be. He has a softer touch than you think and that might get him a job some day in this players first league.

2:43 AM

 
Blogger h bomb said...

The attitude I have right now is, I want to see this champion thing go on forever - these are young guys who have learned and are continuing to learn a lot. How amazing would it be to see the 2003 and 2004 champs face off! But i also remind myslef that being a champ is awesome partly because it doesn't last forever. So I am savoring every minute right now.

Terry - can you say more about the pros and cons of Izzo & other candidates? So many opinion and rumors are flying around. Do you see any disadvantage to him coming out of college ball and right into head coach of an NBA team?

8:39 AM

 
Blogger h bomb said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:39 AM

 
Anonymous Andre F. said...

No way would I like to see Laimbeer here as the coach of this team. You don't hand a championship team to a WNBA coach. I wouldn't mind Izzo here because he is such a defensive coach. I like the fact that he has been at the practices and coaches meetings because it means there would be a smoother transition into the head coaching role for him.

11:21 AM

 
Anonymous Andre F. said...

No way would I like to see Laimbeer here as the coach of this team. You don't hand a championship team to a WNBA coach. I wouldn't mind Izzo here because he is such a defensive coach. I like the fact that he has been at the practices and coaches meetings because it means there would be a smoother transition into the head coaching role for him.

11:21 AM

 
Blogger born2shine said...

Striking blog. I liked the site I will be back
again! Websurfing is a good way to find blogs like
yours.
No matter when you are, just stop by and check for my cash advance oklahoma city blog site.

5:35 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home