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News » For Bobcats coach Larry Brown, no worries with new player Stephen Jackson

For Bobcats coach Larry Brown, no worries with new player Stephen Jackson

For Bobcats coach Larry Brown, no worries with new player Stephen Jackson So here is Stephen Jackson, stripped of his captaincy with Golden State, immersed in almost daily controversy with Warriors coach Don Nelson, landing with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Nothing Larry Brown hasn't seen before.

"If you know me, you know I've been through all kinds of guys," the Bobcats coach was saying, looking ahead to tonight's game against the 76ers at the Wachovia Center. "Have I been without controversy? I spent 6 years banging heads with Allen Iverson, but at the end of the day I knew he wanted to win, he wanted to play. I'm used to that."

Brown is convinced Jackson is cut from similar cloth. If nothing else, Jackson is the big-time scorer the Bobcats, who have been last in the NBA in scoring and field-goal percentage, haven't had. That's why there was no hesitation in making Monday's deal that sent Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic to the Warriors for Jackson and Acie Law.

"I kind of know what we're getting," Brown said. "This is all about acquiring and developing assets. We're getting some assets, giving some up. Even getting Law, we can't have too many point guards. We have D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton, and a young rookie in Gerald Henderson; getting Law, maybe that somehow opens something up elsewhere."

That's Brown's persona. Keep making moves until you get the pieces you really want. That's what he did with the Sixers , in concert with chairman Ed Snider, Pat Croce and Billy King. That's what got the Brown/Iverson Sixers to the Finals in 2000-01.

That same persona had Brown fascinated with the idea of bringing Iverson to the Bobcats this season.

"He had accepted that we had $1.2 million for him, but we also had four guards and I didn't want to embarrass him if I couldn't give him the minutes," Brown recalled. "To me, if he came, he was going to play. There's no need to bring him in if he's not going to be a big part of your team.

"I thought maybe we could do some things to make it work, but that didn't happen. Once we realized that, I kind of told him he should accept the [$3.5 million] offer from Memphis. I know what he's about. What he's capable of doing. I can't believe it's not working out there."

Iverson's time with the Grizzlies turned out to be little more than a dalliance. The Grizzlies agreed Monday to terminate his 1-year contract; he had appeared in three games and had been away from the team on personal leave for 10 days, ostensibly attending to a personal matter. He was waived yesterday. Now the Knicks acknowledge discussing the possibility of taking him on.

Brown's homecoming game (he has more of those than any coach in the league) is tonight.

"I don't know if you can call it a homecoming, because I live in [the Philadelphia suburbs]," he said. "The Sixers were one of my great experiences, including all the time I spent banging my head against the wall. But the good far outweighed the bad."

Since leaving the Sixers , Brown won a championship with Detroit, struggled in New York and returned to the Sixers as an executive vice president; the Sixers are on their sixth coach since he left for the Pistons in 2003. Iverson has bounced to Denver and Detroit and was being seen as a helpful vet and drawing card with the Grizzlies, but fought mightily against being an off-the-bench player.

"Any time I hear about Larry and Allen, I automatically reflect back," said Croce, who served as that era's president, part owner and constant mediator. "I think about how cool that run was, how we set the city on fire. Those two were so different, and at the same time, so alike.

"Larry's a brilliant coach, truly brilliant. He surrounds himself with people who know him, almost what you could call role coaches, much like the role players he put around Allen. I remember we had a 24/48-hour rule, because Larry was always talking about possible trades. We allowed for 24 to 48 hours before we'd talk about it; at the same time, he was always analyzing everything, totally immersed. He has a vision, a passion for what he does. I would always say his experience was worth its weight in wins."

Times change. The Wachovia Center won't be packed tonight or Friday. Only our memory banks will.

For more Sixers coverage, read the

Daily News' Sixers blog, Sixerville, at

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Added: November 18, 2009


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