|76ers give Brown permission to interview with Grizzlies|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2007 11:38|
The Hall of Fame coach received permission from the Philadelphia 76ers to interview for the Memphis Grizzlies' vacancy, a team spokesman said. Brown reportedly was to meet with Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on Wednesday.
Fired by the New York Knicks before last season, Brown returned to the 76ers as an executive vice president in January amid rumors he would eventually replace Maurice Cheeks as coach. But team president Billy King said Cheeks would be back next season, so Brown is looking elsewhere for an opportunity. He even considered Princeton, before the Ivy League school hired Sydney Johnson to replace Joe Scott.
The Grizzlies went from a playoff team a year ago to the NBA's worst record this season at 22-60. Coach Mike Fratello was fired in December and replaced on an interim basis by Tony Barone Sr. Earlier this month, Jerry West said he would step down as director of basketball operations July 1 at the end of his contract.
The 66-year-old Brown has won nearly everywhere he's been. And, he's been all over the country, coaching 11 teams in the ABA, NCAA and NBA. He won an NCAA national championship at Kansas (1988) and an NBA title in Detroit (2004).
In Philadelphia, Brown had his longest coaching tenure from 1997-2003. Despite occasional feuds with star Allen Iverson, Brown guided the 76ers to the NBA finals in 2001.
He left Philadelphia for the Pistons after the 2002-03 season, even though he had two years left on a contract that paid him $6 million a season. The 76ers released him from a contractual clause that prohibited him from coaching another NBA team if he left Philadelphia prematurely.
Brown clashed with team president Isiah Thomas in his only season in New York. He was fired by the Knicks last June after going 23-59 and received an $18.5 million payout from the team.