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Chuck Daly, LeBron James, and Larry Brown

7/20/2005

The Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith has a whopper of a Larry Brown wrap up.

Brown denied it for some time, and reluctantly was given permission to speak with the Cavs amid relations that had deteriorated so badly that Chuck Daly almost ended the season coaching the team.

Though all parties, including Daly, deny the scenario, league insiders insist Daly was close to agreeing to bail out the team when Brown took another medical leave and said he might not return. Brown was working to install friend Gar Heard as coach when the Pistons said they would fire Heard instead, bringing Brown back to finish the season. Could it have happened? Who knows? But it was the late-season talk around the team.

Even late in the playoffs, with the Cleveland courtship still unresolved, Pistons players were aghast to see Brown spending a long session in his office on a game day with LeBron James.

UPDATE: As long ago as June 6, Sam Smith was eerily accurate about how the Larry Brown situation would work itself out. It's worth a look.Then there is this to add to the bulging Larry Brown psychological file:

One general manager for whom Brown worked said Brown often takes breaks from coaching to pursue health issues as a way of sorting out his emotional issues. The general manager said the doctor Brown was seeing said Brown didn't need surgery but Brown was insisting he did. The general manager said he told the surgeon to go ahead if it would make Brown happy.

For the generic wrap up of the nuts and bolts of Larry Brown's departure, I like the version from the Detroit Free Press. Of the "Hello, New York!" stories, I like the one from Frank Isola at the New York Daily News. And at the same paper, Mike Lupica interrupted the anniversary dinner Isiah Thomas was having with his wife, and the Knicks' president said he'd take a helicopter if he had to to get to Larry Brown's Long Island doorstep fast enough.