SportsProf

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Larry Brown to Coach the Princeton Tigers

Ah, so I got your attention because you have search engines that pick up this type of stuff. But he's available, and it gets you thinking. . .

I had read somewhere that when Butch van Breda Kolff left Princeton to coach the Lakers that Larry Brown and Bob Knight were interested in the Princeton job. I also had read that Brown had expressed interest when Joe Scott left for the University of Denver and the school hired Sydney Johnson. And, of course, as recently as within the past week we read that Brown had contacted UNLV about their job, only to have the school hire a long-time assistant.

He's a Hall of Famer, he's won everywhere, and imagine what he could do with players who will listen to everything he says (which hasn't always been the case in the NBA, as this guy had the (mis)fortune of coaching Allen Iverson. He likes challenges, and Princeton would be a unique one for him. You figure that you partner him with some good recruiters and potential successors, and the Tigers could be onto something special for a few years while grooming a successor who might want to stay on for a while. Brown has made tons of money (thanks, among others, to an aborted stay with the fickle Knicks), so he doesn't need a big payday. But he might just be interested in a unique hoops laboratory and elite institution.

Sure, he'd be reminded that he isn't in Kansas any more, that he cannot hire a star recruits dad to assist him (probably not needed at Princeton), that this isn't Carolina, that recruiting is hard and that he'll have to do it. He gets all that. Sure, he doesn't have a Princeton degree like Brian Earl, Mike Brennan and Mitch Henderson, among others, and perhaps he's as old as all three of those guys combined, but the default drive keeps on coming back -- the guy can really coach.

And he's available, and perhaps Princeton has to think outside its box and its family and try another great coaching family -- North Carolina's. (Duke's would be a bit odd given that the Duke family once tried to give enough money to rename Princeton "Duke" and because Coach K's coaching tree isn't necessarily as compelling as Dean Smith's). Okay, so I just showed a preference for Carolina, but so what?

Larry Brown certainly would take the spotlight off Harvard and coach Tommy Amaker. Larry Brown would be a recruiting magnet. He even could join the Anthropology Dept. and teach a course in the origins of basketball, given that he helped invent the game along with Dr. James Naismith (okay, so just kidding about that one, as the Anthro Dept. does require a PhD and tons of publications that were well-reviewed in peer-reviewed journals before making an offer of employment).

Enough joking. Larry Brown is available. He's a basketball institution. Princeton is an institution with a great basketball tradition, a tradition of winning. Larry Brown is his own tradition of winning. Do the math, see the synergies -- Larry Brown could be a very good fit in Tigertown.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad he's not going to come back for $200,000....

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$200,000 and an honorary degree ought to do it.

12:13 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Sure he would. He has tens of millions of dollars. He's close to 70, and he might want an interesting end to his career. At this point, it can't be about the money, it has to be about the challenge, a great ending and an epitaph. This could be just the challenge he's looking for, and $200,000 might suit him just fine.

11:53 AM  

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