According to the Detroit Pistons, Larry Brown has been fired:
Larry Brown is free to coach another team, and the Pistons will pay him about $6 million not to come back.
Those are the key points of a settlement that led to Tuesday’s announcement that the Pistons had fired Brown, who took the team to the 2004 NBA title and Game 7 of this year’s Finals.
There’s been speculation that Larry wouldn’t be back with the Pistons ever since the reports surfaced that he was interested in joining the Cavaliers. He even said that the Knicks was his most-desired destination. Geez… that’s like a husband saying to his wife “Ya know, I’d really like to be with such-and-such. She’s my dream wife.” Heck, given his nomadic behavior, speculation about his tenure probably started the day initial negotiations began back in 2003.
So, was he really fired or was this merely a buyout?
The uncertainty of how much Brown could coach last season was one reason for his dismissal. Brown missed 17 games last season after he had surgery twice — for a hip replacement and resulting bladder problem. He also underwent further bladder surgery this month at the Mayo Clinic.
… Although Brown said he wanted to coach the Pistons if healthy, his health issue wasn’t resolved. He also didn’t endear himself to management last season when he said coaching the Knicks would be “a dream job,” then agreed to listen to a potential offer to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president of basketball operations.
Brown told the New York Times on Tuesday that he wasn’t interested in a buyout.
“I don’t want to negotiate a buyout,” he said. “I want to coach.”
But, in the end, his flirtations with other teams and his health problems gave the Pistons too much concern.
It will be interesting to see if other teams share the Pistons’ concerns. He’s a mover, not a stayer, and his health problems have to be a concern. But teams want to win – and yesterday’s not soon enough. Larry’s a winner, there’s no doubt about it and anyone who hires him knows what they are getting.