CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Larry Brown spent his two-year hiatus from the NBA bench watching countless games, studying coaches and learning new strategies.
Brown finally got to test his new theories on Wednesday and begin his quest to erase the ugly memories of his last job with the New York Knicks.
Dressed in a long-sleeved T-shirt with a giant Bobcats' logo, Brown shouted instructions and gave tips to six college players in Charlotte's pre-draft workout, his first official act on the court since accepting his record ninth NBA head coaching job.
``I realized how lucky I am to be part of this game when I was away from it,'' a beaming Brown said. ``I just feel real fortunate that I have this opportunity. Hopefully, I'll be better.''
As Brown and his new staff worked out likely second-round picks Jamont Jordan, DeMarcus Nelson, Sean Singletary, Malik Hairston, Courtney Pigram and Jason Rich, it was clear Brown was eager to begin a new chapter after his Hall of Fame resume was tarnished by a turmoil-filled 23-59 season in New York in 2005-06. Brown was fired after just one season. The last two years was Brown's longest stint away from the bench since he began his coaching career.
``I didn't like the way it ended. I didn't like the job I did in New York,'' said the 67-year-old Brown, who was hired by Bobcats' part-owner Michael Jordan two months ago. ``I thought I used these two years productively. Watching other people coach, I learned a lot. I don't think I would have had the opportunity to learn if I had been working.''
Brown feels the NBA has changed dramatically without him, becoming a guards' league with the dominant play of New Orleans' Chris Paul, Utah's Deron Williams, Tony Parker of San Antonio and Steve Nash of Phoenix.
``The league wants that. You can't guard anybody anymore,'' Brown said. ``If Michael (Jordan) played today he'd average 60 a game, as much as they call fouls on the perimeter. You've got to have people that can keep guards in front of them without fouling. It's unbelievably important now. And now you need guys that can penetrate and play pick-and-roll and get people involved.''
Brown feels his incumbent point guard, Raymond Felton, can develop into that kind of player. But he spent Wednesday morning tutoring six other guards - and thoroughly enjoying the teaching opportunity.
``His enthusiasm for the game, you can definitely see that,'' said Rich, a 6-foot-3 guard from Florida State. ``He just wants it to rub off on the players. You can tell this is his passion and he puts his heart into what he's doing.''
As Brown muscled up to players in the paint to demonstrate post moves and gave pep talks, a row of chairs on the side of the court was occupied by scouts and general manager Rod Higgins, who hope Brown can lead the four-year-old Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time.
``I think Larry is probably feeling like a rookie right now in a lot of ways,'' Higgins said. ``It's something he's probably been thinking about for some time. It's really fortunate for us that we had an opportunity to get him here and then work with our young guys.''
Higgins acknowledged they've had discussions about trading the No. 9 pick in the June 26 draft. The final call will rest with Jordan, but expect Brown to play an important role as he shapes another NBA team.
``I'm a basketball nut, so I watched a lot of games the last two years,'' Brown said. ``I watched the way people coach kids and I see how kids respond to coaching, how they handle situations. ... So many of these kids I feel like I know a great deal about.
``But being with them on the court, I think is really important.''

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