Published April 14, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — While Larry Brown isn't sure how much longer he'll be on the bench, the nomadic Hall of Famer insists Charlotte will be his last coaching job.
Responding on Wednesday to continued speculation he could bolt for the Philadelphia 76ers or the Los Angeles Clippers at the end of the season, the 69-year-old Brown said he won't coach for anyone other than Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.
"I can't remember having any more fun as a coach. He's the only guy I'm going to coach for," Brown said. "He brought me here. He gave me a chance."
When asked if he saw himself leaving coaching and becoming a general manager, Brown said it's not something he's thought about.
"You know, Phil Jackson every year talks about maybe stepping down. I'm older than him," Brown said of the 64-year-old Los Angeles Lakers coach. "I love what I'm doing. I love coaching here. I'm excited for this franchise. This is where I want to be."
Jordan hired Brown in 2008 after he spent two years out of the league following one ugly season in New York. In his record ninth NBA head coaching job, Brown has been instrumental in a makeover of Charlotte's roster and guided the six-year-old Bobcats to their first playoff berth.
But Brown, the only coach to win NBA and NCAA titles, has a history of not staying anywhere long. He's coached 10 pro teams, counting the ABA's Carolina Cougars, and two college teams, not counting a brief stint at Davidson in which he left without coaching a game.
Brown has spent the past two years apart from his wife, Shelly, and their two children, who live in the Philadelphia area. His wife has ties to Los Angeles, too. So with the Clippers currently being led by an interim coach and Eddie Jordan's future with the Sixers uncertain, there have been reports linking Brown to both coaching jobs.
"It came out that my wife wanted to move back to LA. I answered that. I love coaching here. I love working for Michael," Brown said. "The only indecision I had was before Michael was the owner. Nobody knew what would happen if we had new ownership."
Jordan, who was a part-owner with the final say on basketball decisions, bought majority control of the Bobcats from Bob Johnson last month. Jordan said then he hoped Brown would remain for the final two years of his contract, but said he wouldn't prevent him from leaving for family reasons.
"I view Larry as a friend," Jordan said. "For me to hold a friend to a contract knowing that his spouse or his family scenario supersedes that, that's not who I am."
But Brown was upbeat after shootaround Wednesday before final regular-season game against Chicago. The Bobcats will face Orlando in the first round of the playoffs starting this weekend.
"Not every year is fun," Brown said, "but the two years I've been here have been great."