After five years away from college basketball, coaching legend Larry Brown is returning to the game as an assistant to Penny Hardaway with the Memphis Tigers.
This week, Brown issued his first public comments on his decision to join the Tigers. In a recent interview, he said that over the past few years he’s been watching a lot of other coaches and talking to virtually everyone, sharing his ideas.
“You know, since I’ve been out of coaching, I’ve been allowed to watch a lot of people coach, and I’ve enjoyed that,” Brown said. “I’ve always liked smelling the gym. With COVID, I think I’ve been on every Zoom and podcast imaginable, trying to share ideas, share the things I was taught. But I’m so excited that Penny has given me this chance to work with young kids and hopefully have an impact on their lives on and off the court. I’m a little nervous about it but I’m excited about it.”
Brown’s move to Memphis reunites him with Hardaway, who he once coached in the NBA. The two were briefly together for the ill-fated 2005-06 season with the New York Knicks.
Larry Brown’s first public comments on his new role as assistant coach at Memphis pic.twitter.com/Wi2xwRHww1
— John Martin (@JohnMartin929) July 8, 2021
Larry Brown’s head coaching career dates all the way back to the 1960s, when he was an assistant to the late-great Dean Smith at his alma mater North Carolina. He then enjoyed a brief playing career in the ABA before landing his first head coaching job in 1972.
In the decades that followed, Brown would be a head coach for 10 NBA/ABA franchises, three college basketball teams and Italy’s Auxilium Torino. He won an NBA title with the Pistons in 2004 and a national championship with Kansas in 1988.
Brown will be 80 years old when the 2021-22 season starts, so this could very well be his final run as a coach.
Let’s hope that it’s a good one.