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Larry Brown takes shots at Jordan, Bobcats; Jordan fires back

Apr 25, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

Image (1) Brown_Jordan-thumb-250x166-11342-thumb-250x166-11343.jpg for post 3675

So much for keeping everything civil in the Tar Heel family.

Larry Brown was let early last season when it was clear the Charlotte Bobcats were not responding to him. Probably because he told Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace he didn’t think the team had enough talent to compete. (Paul Silas stepped in and has had to deal with even less talent this season.)

Now Larry Brown is back in college, the new head coach at Big East bound Southern Methodist University, and on the Dan Patrick radio show he took some shots at the Bobcats and owner Michael Jordan, reports Rick Bonnell at the Charlotte Observer (via Ball Don’t Lie).

“He’s around people who don’t have a clue.’’

“He had people around me that made me sick.’’

“It was almost like they were spies wondering what we were doing and getting back to him.’’

“A coach, a GM and a president all have to be attached at the hip.’’

The rumors that Jordan has too many “yes” man around him and is an absentee owner have existed for a while. But before you pile these on top of those consider the source — Larry Brown is a basketball nomad who can coach but frustrates and drives front office staff crazy at every stop. Go read the entire Charlotte Observer story and you start to feel bad for former team president Rod Higgens.

Jordan spoke with Bonnell later on Wednesday and said this:

“The idea that people can’t do that is just wrong. Curtis (Polk, team vice chairman) has worked with me for over 20 years and he’s never had a problem telling me, ‘no.’ Rod (Higgins, president of basketball operations) has no problem telling me no. Fred (Whitfield, team president) has no problem telling me ‘no.’ And Rich (Cho, the team’s general manager) is about as direct and candid a person as you’ll ever meet…

“He had a lot of input on whatever we did. I never sidestepped him in making a decision. I gave my advice as a former player. I thought we developed a trust where everyone could share his opinion. I gave my input, but I wasn’t the only one whose opinion counted.

“I didn’t always agree with what he recommended, but I thought that was healthy. The owner, the coach and the general manager should be able to all disagree. I’d like to think that’s the healthiest approach.’’

By bringing in a guy like Rich Cho as GM, Jordan should get some leeway on the idea that everyone in the organization is a yes man. That said, there is also clearly some dysfunction there — you don’t end up on the verge of a historic season of losses without it. Yes, they knew they needed to get worse while rebuilding, but there are problems here.

Jordan says they were not chasing Ping-Pong balls in the lottery, but now they are going to end up with a quarter of them. And if that nets them Anthony Davis, Jordan is going to start looking a lot smarter as an owner. Whether he is or not.

  1. boilerup1869 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I’m a Chicago guy and a Jordan-the-basketball-player (not Jordan-the-GM/Owner) fan for life. But, here’s reality summed up in two points:

    1) Larry Brown has an extensive track record of managerial success in basketball.

    2) Michael Jordan has an extensive track record of managerial failure in basketball.

    So, Michael, whatever it is you’re doing (or not doing) behind the scenes, it seems like it needs to change drastically if you want “NBA Team Owner” to be a positive part of your legacy.

    • rexismybff - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Just a quick question – by “extensive”, are you referring to his NINE different NBA coaching jobs??

      I’m not a Jordan apologist – don’t really care for him to be honest. But I think Brown gets WAYYYY too much credit, when really he’s just another carpet-bagging coach.

      That 2004 Pistons team could have won the NBA title with or without him – they were completely overloaded with talent. In fact, he should shoulder the blame for only winning ONE title in Detroit.

      • senorpapino - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Gonna have to disagree about the 04 Pistons. They were a Sheed missed assignment in game 5 vs. the Spurs from winning another title and the team could never get past the Eastern Conference Finals once he left. Brown maximized the collection of very good (not superstar) players in his Detroit years.

      • somekat - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Why? He won the title the year they got Sheed, he was replaced the next year. Why would he shoulder blame for not winning more? a 50% title rate (beating/ending the last true dynasty in the process) is not good enough? Or was he supposed to still hold influence on what the players do on the court when he was coaching for the Knicks?

      • lew24 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        “That 2004 Pistons team could have won the NBA title with or without him – they were completely overloaded with talent.”

        Really? You must be kidding? I’m a huge Laker fan and that team did not deserve to be on the same floor as the Lakers talent wise. What that team did to the Lakers was unreal. They basically beat the Lakers 5 times in the series (I am not counting Kobe’s crazy shots in game 2 to send that game to OT because the Piston should have won that one too!)

        Look at that Piston roster! What Brown did was amazing!

      • jckid21 - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM

        Say what you want about Larry Brown the person, but as a coach he took Allen Iverson and 11 other guys to the NBA Finals. Outside of his championship in Detroit, probably his greatest coaching effort in the NBA.

      • rexismybff - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:16 PM

        @lew24: “Really? You must be kidding? I’m a huge Laker fan and that team did not deserve to be on the same floor as the Lakers talent wise”


        Please. Look at the Lakers that year:
        Kobe (the year of the rape allegations, civil sexual assault suit with Faber)
        Shaq (the out of shape, feuding with Kobe Shaq)
        Gary Payton (past his prime, diminished skills)
        Karl Malone (same as Payton)

        That was a garbage team. Lucky they won a single game from Detroit.

      • urodaddy07 - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:42 AM

        Really Rexis. Do you actually remember that team. Not one of them is an NBA elite player – they were good, but none of them can be considered an NBA GREAT. So come on man, give Larry Brown his due. Larry Brown coached those guys to a Championship. It is true that after a short while playes tune him out and one gets the impression you can stand him for only so long. But you cannot argue with his success a a coach. C’mon man!!

      • rexismybff - Apr 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        @urodaddy07 “Really Rexis. Do you actually remember that team. Not one of them is an NBA elite player – they were good, but none of them can be considered an NBA GREAT.”


        At that time, Ben Wallace was the best center in basketball (had just destroyed Shaq in 5 games), Rasheed was lighting it up, Chauncey and Prince and Rip Hamilton were playing at perennial All-star levels. If you don’t think that team was loaded with talent you are just mis-remembering, my friend.

      • urodaddy07 - Apr 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        I think you might partially be making my point for me. There is no doubt those guys played great for a short part of their careers – which coincided with Larry Brown being head coach

      • kavika6 - May 3, 2012 at 4:52 AM

        “he should shoulder the blame for only winning ONE title in Detroit”

        The Spurs had something to do with that too.

  2. iknowzeroaboutsports - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    They’re called sycophants and Jordan is surrounded by them. George Lucas had them around him which is why Phantom Menace sucked. So, yeah, Kwame Brown is the Jar Jar Binks of basketball.

    • Clayton Bigsby - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      What???? Kwame (Stone Hands) Brown is the real deal….

  3. rickditka - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Man, I love Larry Brown. The success he has had doesn’t compare to any other basketball coach. He may not be Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach, but neither of them took the Clippers and Bobcats to the playoffs. I’m so glad LB is back in the business.

    • stayhigh_247 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      that may be true, but u have to assume that Red or Phil would have made champions out of the Clips or the Bobcats. Getting to the playoffs does not make you a great coach. Scott Skiles, Vinny Delnegro, Mike Brown all have made the playoffs and no one is calling them great. Yeah I know he got 1 ring in Detroit, but with a team that had a focused Ben Wallace, a focused Sheed, Chauncey, RIP and Tayshun, they should have had a few more. Larry Brown is a burned out coach and it wont be long before he finds fault at SMU or vice verse.

  4. tomtravis76 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    This is an organization the deserves the number 1 pick in Anthony Davis. Jordan will get a hang of this ownership thing sooner rather than later. Stern does not want Jordan to fail. Other owners should step in and offer some friendly advice, its good for the league if Jordan can make a small market team succesful.

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Please the owners could care less about who owns small market teams. The Hornets were just purchased by Tom Benson the owner of a football team drowning in scandal. The NBA felt lucky that anybody would want the team at all.

      Bottom line is Jordan is hemorrhaging money and until he hires somebody who knows what they’re doing, that franchise is doomed.

    • bobbyvsunkmybattleship - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      When is he going to “get it”? He’s on record saying the Bulls should have brought in Stackhouse to be his heir apparent. Clueless on talent evaluation, always will be and he won’t listen to anybody.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      A team that tanks doesn’t deserve the #1 anything.

      • thestudiokida - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        To say the Bobcats are tanking is ridiculous. Nobody tanks into the worst record in NBA history. And if they were tanking it would mean they were actually capable of competing and trust me, they are not.

    • somekat - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      No, it isn’t. The NBA has spent the last 25 years making thier league about the superstar, not about the team. The only thing that makes the league money is national attention. No matter how good they are, the Bobcats aren’t going to get that in Charlotte. Look at OKC, their team is ridiculous, and outside of basketball circles, you hear nothing about them. Why? Is Durant/Westbrook/etc not good enough? Not at all, because they are in OKC and nobody cares.

      Would it be a nice story if Jordan get them successful? Sure. Would it be better for the league than if a team like Washington or Detroit would get back to the top? No, not even close.

      You seem to be looking at the NFL “everybody has a chance” model (IMO, the best in sports), but the NBA uses the “these 6 teams have a chance, the rest are playing for the honor of being destoryed in the playoffs” model

      • leeann10 - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        OKC ridiculous? Probably not to the teams they keep beating! And your comment “outside of basketball circles you hear nothing about them”. Well, where else would you hear about them? The national news? Probably not since the team isn’t full of the criminal types you hear about on the national news. Go Celtics!

      • somekat - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        You REALLY read that and thought I meant ridiculous as in bad?

        The reading comprehension skills of some the people on this board continue to amaze

    • pl4tinum514 - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      Too bad the Cavs (ahem, Nick Gilbert) has the #1 picked locked up…

  5. lakerluver - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    LB may be a “nomad” but MJ’s a colossal failure as an owner.

  6. bobbyvsunkmybattleship - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Whoever decided to fire Larry needs to be banned from the NBA. MJ needs to put a sock in it until that mess wins 3 straight which is gonna be just about never.

  7. somekat - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Who would of thought taht Jordan is a PBT poster? He’s just like a lot of guys on here. He takes a critique (They don’t challenge him), completely changes it (to they “can’t”, or “he doesn’t want them to), then responds to the critique that he completely made up. While ignoring the original

    Hey Mike, he said they DON’T, not that they aren’t allowed. There is a difference

  8. ncarolinarn7 - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Jordan needs to humbly look at this operation and seek professional assistance. If Mitch Kupchek isn’t happy with baby Buss hire him. Hire others with Carolina roots like him. Jordan I understand borrowed quit a bit to buy this team. Interest is bleeding him if that is the case. Charlotte won’t love Mike forever if he doesn’t produce but they aren’t there yet.

  9. florida727 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Jordan proved by his HOF induction speech that his ego is the only thing that surpassed his talent as a player. His ego doesn’t allow him to accept input that he doesn’t agree with already, hence the “yes men” criticism.

    I had an executive I reported to once tell me I should challenge him. To use his words, “if you and I always agree, one of us isn’t necessary”.

  10. daniel10017 - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    You may Larry Brown makes me sick to my stomach. He basically should be jailed for embezzlement to what he did to the Knicks, trying to steal $50 million from them. I saw him 3 years ago buying sneakers in NYC and I wanted to ask him if those sneakers costs $10 million. I’m glad the Dolans won their arbitration against him. So how much he is stealing this time with the new job at SMU? Even $500K is theft.

    • tcclark - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      they fired him after one season. It’s not like he tried to quit and get the rest of his contract to come with him. And did you see the team he had to work with? he’s lucky he won as many games as he did with that roster. It’s not like his replacement did any better (I think you know who I’m talkin about)

  11. tcclark - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    How do you tell the greatest basketball player of all-time, a guy with 6 NBA Championships, that your opinion on how to win is better than his? I’m sure his guys are allowed to say “no,” but how do you tell him that he’s wrong, even if he is?

    Jordan’s an intimidating presence and that is a big reason why he hasn’t been successful as an owner. Every decision is going to be Michael’s because everyone in that organization believes that Michael knows best. He needs to surround himself with people that know basketball as much as he does. Larry Brown was a great coach for him, but he had to go through 3 other people before he could even talk to jordan.

    Michael needs to do one of 2 things. Hire somebody to take over all of the basketball operations and stay out of it (not gonna happen). Or eliminate some positions and get 2 guys that know basketball as much as he does and make it a three man job. Having just Michael, a team president, and a coach/gm make the decisions would make things a lot better. The problem is finding 2 guys that know as much about basketball as Jordan does. There are only a few people that Michael Jordan will listen too. Phil Jackson is one of them, but it would take a miracle to get him in Charlotte in any capacity. Doug Collins might be another, but he likes his job in Philly. Dean smith’s another, but it would take an even bigger miracle than Jackson’s to get him in Charlotte. I just don’t see it happening

  12. chargerdillon - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Larry Brown is my all time favorite coach. Like another poster said anybody who can take the stupid Clippers to the playoffs is a pretty damn good coach.

    I’m a Laker fan, so I’ve always watched his career from something of an opposition view. You have to remember this is the guy that babysat Allen Iverson for years and put up with all of his antics and got the best anybody ever got out of AI. He took a bunch of mid level jobbers in Detroit and swept a Laker team that consisted of Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton to name a few. 4 Hall of Famers got swept by Larry Brown and a bunch of midlevel hacks who since Browns departure became garbage.

    Larry Brown knows how to get the most out of bad talent which is why he’s gone to places like the Clippers, Knicks and the Bobcats. Larry Brown is a great coach but even he cant squeeze water out of a dry sponge.

  13. thezeynmaster - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Nobody has to be good at multiple things. MJ is the greatest basketball to ever play the game, no question. But being an owner, managing an organization are way different than being on the court although the game is the same. He is stubborn about success though, so don’t be surprised if he makes it.

  14. fanz928 - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Jordan better hope anthony Davis doesn’t turn out to be kwame brown 2.0

  15. BigBeachBall - Apr 28, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Just be thankful that Jordan is happy with being an NBA franchise owner and not an NBA commissioner….. he can only screw one city instead of multiple cities…

  16. cornbreadbbqred - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Larry Brown is the career coach. He has won at every level. Jordan’s record of operating as an owner with Washington and Charlotte is suspect. Jordan had not valid coaching perspective to contribute, obviously. His Airness was a superb athlete and peerless competitor, but it is possible he sucks as some things, such as baseball, coaching, and owning and running a franchise.

  17. cornbreadbbqred - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Jordan sucks are selecting talent two: witness Kwame Brown as his first ever No.1 pick, out of high school. What a bust!

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