larry brown

Coaching Legend Larry Brown Returns to College Basketball, but Not as Top Guy

The man who last coached the Sixers to the NBA Finals has a new job in basketball - and it's not one you might expect for Larry Brown

Ex-Sixers HC Larry Brown lands unexpected coaching job originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Former Sixers head coach Larry Brown is back in the game - and, for the first time since 1967, he's not the man in charge.

Brown will be an assistant coach with the University of Memphis men's basketball team next season under head coach Penny Hardaway, according to reports Tuesday night:

Hardaway was being considered for the Orlando Magic's open head coaching job, but decided to stay at Memphis.

Brown, who turns 81 in September, hasn't coached in the United States since 2016, his last season at the helm of SMU's men's basketball team. He spent 2018 coaching Auxilium Torino in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A. 

The last time Brown was an assistant coach instead of a head coach was 1967, where he coached under Dean Smith from 1965 to 1967 before landing his first head coaching gig with the ABA's Carolina Cougars. He was a head coach for 13 different teams between the NCAA, the NBA, and the ABA, including six years with the 76ers where he coached the famous Allen Iverson-led 2001 squad to the NBA Finals and won 283 games between the regular season and the postseason.

Brown hasn't coached in the NBA since 2011, his last season with the Bobcats, but he still has plenty of thoughts on the modern game as he told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark during an episode of the Takeoff with John Clark podcast.

To me, it's pretty cool to see Brown opt for an assistant coach position. At this point in his career he's clearly past his head coaching days, but he obviously still loves basketball - so much so that he's willing to take a step back and support a young rising star like Hardaway in order to remain close to the game. Brown brings a wealth of experience from his decades in basketball, and Memphis will absolutely benefit from his presence.

The Tigers have won at least 20 games in each of Hardaway's three seasons with Memphis, racking up a .663 win percentage.

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