I've noticed a couple of articles from random media types calling for the Pistons to bring back Larry Brown -- MLive's Full-Court Press points out a columnist from the Orlando Sentinel as well as ESPN's Scoop Jackson. I'm not surprised people are suggesting as much (I know a few DBB readers have done so in the comments), but I decided against talking about it because, well, the very idea is just too crazy to hold much weight.
It doesn't look like this discussion is going away quickly, though, so I suppose I'll finally offer my two cents:
Do I think Larry Brown could return to the the Pistons? No f-ing way.
Brown alienated the entire franchise with his shenanigans in the 2005 playoffs, and even when his actions made it blantantly obvious that he couldn't return to Detroit's bench, he refused to simply walk away, instead finagling a $7 million severance package out of Bill Davidson just weeks before he went on to sign a five-year, $50 million deal with the Knicks.
I think it's fair to say the entire franchise resents the crap that Brown pulled. I interviewed Dave Wieme, Palace Sports & Entertainment Director of Strategic Communications, back in April, and his most colorful responses came when asked about the former coach:
And then, out of the blue the news comes that he has talked with Cleveland and then the talks with New York.
What? Are you kidding? Why now? Why this? What possibly can be gained?
He has betrayed the team. He has betrayed the organization and he has betrayed the people who have supported him throughout. In this organization, disloyalty is not looked upon very highly. And when it's disloyalty in public, it falls even further down the hole.
For those of you who think Coach Brown wasn't disloyal, let me put it to you this way. What would you do with an employee who came to you and said they were going to speak to your direct competitor about the potential for a very high-ranking job in their organization? AND they were going to do it when your annual earnings reports were coming out AND they were going to tell everyone and anyone that they were having these discussions?
What would you do? Exactly…you would fire the person. I think Mr. Davidson put it best when he spoke to Bernie Smilovitz right after Coach Brown was let go. Mr. Davidson basically said it just got to be too much Larry and not enough Pistons. It was all about Larry and we can't have that. This is a team and as a team, it can't be all about one person. And so he did the deal.
I know there is some animosity towards Coach Brown, from people in the organization and from the media. Me personally, I still respect the man and what he did for this organization, but I'm also very disappointed in his actions and the way he handled the situation. I think he could have done a much better job and avoided the drama.
I think it's safe to say that Dave's feeling about Brown probably mirror the entire organization's. Brown burned far too many bridges to ever return to Detroit as a coach. But even if he hadn't, why would we want him back? You could argue that without his distractions, the Pistons might have been a bit more focused in the 2005 playoffs. And besides, the Knicks were the laughingstock of the entire league last year, and that's almost entirely because of the way Brown jerked around his players, many of whom rode a constant carousel from the starting lineup to the bench to the doghouse and back to the starting lineup again.
Brown has always been a hired gun, but after these last couple of years it's hard to believe that he's not simply trying to do whatever it takes to get as much money as possible, his reputation and health be damned. Above and beyond the fact that I don't think the Pistons' front office has lost confidence in Flip Saunders, there's no reason to think that Bill Davidson and Joe Dumars want to play another co-starring role in Brown's soap opera.
More Larry Brown to Detroit rumors [Full-Court Press]
More Chatter About Larry Brown Returning to the Pistons [True Hoop]
Detroit Bad Boys talks with David Wieme [DBB]