NEW YORK — This farce has gone far enough.
This charade Larry Brown is perpetuating isn’t remotely authentic, vaguely amusing, distantly honorable, or faintly Academy Award winning.
In fact, this latest make-believe game he’s running on everybody insults the intelligence of anyone who knows diddly squat about Brown’s countless back door cuts throughout the ABA, NBA and the NCAA (11 teams in all, if you count Davidson, which he bolted after about a week once he realized his office wasn’t going to get any bigger) over 33 years.
In fact, considering the Pistons are locked in mortal combat with the Heat for the privilege to participate in The Finals, this present performance by Brown might be his most offensive sham of all.
In many eyes, Brown may be the best coach working today.
Regrettably, deceit and deception also happen to be two of his most important products. It’s astonishing how such vast experience in duplicity doesn’t serve to improve his counterfeit stances.
Brown’s fake outrage at last week’s revelation by the New York Times (demeaning its use of unnamed sources) that he’s been granted permission to communicate with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert regarding the team presidency was both sorry and sad.
Every veteran know-it-all within David Stern’s sphere of influence isn’t buying the curdled truth Brown’s selling.
We all know perfectly well what’s happening here because it’s nothing we haven’t witnessed frequently in the past.
We all know the 64-year-old nomad is two Miami losses away (or the next round) from flitting away to Cleveland where he’ll headline the front office until he gets bored, pedal toe gets itchy or he hears no from his boss once, er, once too often.
We all know Gilbert craves credibility and Brown, for better or worse, instantly provides it in name, face, voice, and as a member of the Hall of Fame) to headline his vacant lot of a front office.
We all know Next Town Brown choreographed the hiring of Pacers’ associate head coach Mike Brown, 35, as the Cavaliers’ head coach; they have no binding relationship but Gregg Popovich, Larry’s first coaching cousin, strongly endorsed his former Spurs’ assistant.
We all know Next Town Brown arranged the imminent appointment of Wizards’ personnel director Milt Newton, who played for him at Kansas, as the Cavaliers GM.
We all know Next Town Brown will import Randy Ayers, his assistant and brief successor with the 76ers, to support Mike Brown on the bench.
How many of us ever get to assemble our own Welcome Wagon?
We all know, despite being obligated to the Pistons for three more seasons, Next Town Brown (and/or longtime representative, Joel Glass) was communicating with Gilbert (and/or his reps) for quite some time before permission actually was requested a week or so ago.
Gilbert called Pistons’ team president Tom Wilson.
Joe Dumars, head of basketball operations wound up being the one to sanction it with owner Bill Davidson’s approval.
And why not?
We all know Next Town Brown has a supposedly irreversible bladder condition that’s not conducive to coaching or traveling full time; he must use a catheter every trip to the rest room.
Larry’s looking for an easier way of life, the Cavs are providing it, the Pistons have signed off on it and his players, to a man, know he’s gone shortly after they’re through for the season.
OK, so why does Next Town Brown continue to deny, deflect, defray, devalue, distort and defer the truth?
Why play the role of aggrieved party when it’s only a matter of days or weeks before Next Town Brown is exposed as a phony?
Why the simulated righteous anger when we all know differently?
Why continue the charade when all the important people involved in his life and work place know better?
Why not be a man and call a press conference and clear the air. Admit that these current playoffs have become too much of a distraction to your future agenda and take a hike.
And while Next Town Brown is at it he should profusely thank Davidson and Dumars for being so understanding, as opposed to turning the Cavs into the league office and firing Larry on the spot.
Does the term tampering strike a chord?
Let’s not forget Miami got docked a No. 1 (1996) draft pick and a cool million for talking to Pat Riley while he was still under contract with the Knicks.
Let’s also not forget Brown got fired once before for the same transgression; playoff-bound Nets’ owner Joe Taub dismissed him with six games left in the 1982-83 season because, without permission to break his contract, he had already committed to coach Kansas the following year and New Jersey got swept in two game by the Knicks.
It wouldn’t even be a first in the state of Michigan, where assistant Steve Fisher took over the Wolverines at the outset of the 1989 NCAA tournament after word surfaced that head coach Bill Frieder had already accepted the Arizona State job.
Then again, suggesting Brown pay a visit to the confessional is probably too much to ask; that would be very un-Larry like.
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