Thursday, July 21, 2005

CHECK THIS NEW YORK POST STORY ON BROWN

WHY '83 NETS BAGGED BROWN By FRED KERBER


Rumors swirled for weeks back in April 1983. Larry Brown, who had coached the Nets to their first-ever 40-victory NBA season the previous year, was leaving to take the Kansas job. No way, Brown assured ownership. But with six games left in what would prove to be the best Nets' regular season until a fellow named Jason Kidd arrived, Brown went missing for about 10 hours on April 7. The team faced a one-game trip to Detroit, and Brown arrived in the locker room with the Kansas claim check still affixed to his bag. The team departed for Newark Airport and a commercial flight to Detroit (yes, Virginia, teams once flew commercially and even consumed something called "airline food"). But Joe Taub, then the Nets owner, learned about the claim check. "I'm not going to let Larry get away with this," he said and ordered a member of the public relations staff to drive him immediately to the airport. "As I recall, we were at Newark Airport and Joe Taub had him paged and they went back to the office," Mike Gminski, one of the Nets players on that team, said yesterday. "Larry finally admitted, 'OK, I'm coaching Kansas.' That night, we had a meeting with assistants Mike Schuler and Bill Blair. "We had heard the rumors, so it didn't catch us completely by surprise," Gminski said. "But we had the sense he would finish out the season. We kind of limped through the rest of the year. No disrespect to Blair or Schuler; they weren't Larry Brown. Things came unraveled." At the airport, Taub was driven to one end and then sent the employee to fetch Brown, away from crowds and the departure gate. "Is it true, are you going to Kansas?" Taub asked Brown. Brown, who came to the Nets from UCLA, excused himself, went to a public phone and called the Kansas athletic department. Moments later he walked back to Taub. "Yes, I'm going to Kansas when the playoffs are over," Brown said. Taub had a different idea. "If you're going to Kansas, you're not coaching this team," said Taub, who fired Brown right there at the airport. The Nets were 47-29 when Brown was axed. Under Blair, they went 2-4 and then were swept out of the playoffs in a best-of-three by the Knicks. "
The team faced a one-game trip to Detroit, and Brown arrived in the locker room with the Kansas claim check still affixed to his bag. The team departed for Newark Airport and a commercial flight to Detroit (yes, Virginia, teams once flew commercially and even consumed something called "airline food"). But Joe Taub, then the Nets owner, learned about the claim check.
"I'm not going to let Larry get away with this," he said and ordered a member of the public relations staff to drive him immediately to the airport.
"As I recall, we were at Newark Airport and Joe Taub had him paged and they went back to the office," Mike Gminski, one of the Nets players on that team, said yesterday. "Larry finally admitted, 'OK, I'm coaching Kansas.' That night, we had a meeting with assistants Mike Schuler and Bill Blair.
"We had heard the rumors, so it didn't catch us completely by surprise," Gminski said. "But we had the sense he would finish out the season. We kind of limped through the rest of the year. No disrespect to Blair or Schuler; they weren't Larry Brown. Things came unraveled."
At the airport, Taub was driven to one end and then sent the employee to fetch Brown, away from crowds and the departure gate.


"Is it true, are you going to Kansas?" Taub asked Brown.
Brown, who came to the Nets from UCLA, excused himself, went to a public phone and called the Kansas athletic department. Moments later he walked back to Taub.
"Yes, I'm going to Kansas when the playoffs are over," Brown said.
Taub had a different idea.
"If you're going to Kansas, you're not coaching this team," said Taub, who fired Brown right there at the airport.
The Nets were 47-29 when Brown was axed. Under Blair, they went 2-4 and then were swept out of the playoffs in a best-of-three by the Knicks.

28 Comments:

Blogger dt said...

So would that one be classified as a 'firing' or a 'buyout' ???!!

The comedy continuess, by the way. For Bill Davidson to say yesterday that there is no way he could employ a couach who's "not a good person" is laughable.

Ask anyone who has ever done business with or against Guardian Industries to tell you whether or not they think Bill Davidson is a "good" person.

Time for all to shut up.

7:49 AM

 
Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

After reading all these articles, I got to hand it to Larry.

Unlike 95% of the other coaches in the league, Larry leaves on his own terms.

These other guys typically hang on and wait to get fired. I just have to ask myself, what is wrong with that approach?

I have to hand it to Larry, he knows when to move. His problem is that he doesn't know how to say good bye without leaving a mess behind him.

10:27 AM

 
Blogger Ian C. said...

Somebody has to find that PR dude who had to drive LB to the airport and fetch him when the Nets owner wanted to fire him. His two cents would be worth at least an article.

3:37 PM

 
Blogger Tom said...

No offense Terry, but you need an editor for your blog.

8:12 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

what coward drank his glass of hater aide this morning?

8:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, Davidson is pretty much a scumbag, but so is Brown. Those 2 deserve each other. Brown had to go, and he got paid millions to do so, and Davidson had to pay it. Perfect ending for those 2 scumbags.

Kudos to Dumars, he handled all this with pure class and professionalism. Now there's a guy we should all be proud of, he represents us well.

8:48 PM

 
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