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Star News Services reports even though New York Knicks coach Larry Brown spent most of last spring flirting with the Cleveland Cavaliers about becoming their next general manager, he now says he no longer wants to move into a front-office role.
“I’m just a basketball person,” Brown said this week. “I want to be a coach. And I don’t know if I could do (both jobs) right now. I’m 65 and I want to coach. And when you’re (12-21) and trying to be responsible to get this team to play as good as they’re capable of playing, I have no thoughts about doing anything else.”
Brown, however, was thinking about his future during last year’s playoff run with the Detroit Pistons when it became known that he was talking to a representative of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Brown was criticized for his actions, especially since the Pistons were vying for a second straight title. Brown’s back-channel conversations with the Cavs created a media frenzy, but it never distracted the Pistons, who advanced to Game 7 of the NBA Finals before losing to the Spurs. Cleveland eventually hired Mike Brown as coach and Danny Ferry as GM.
“I said from day one that if I could coach I was hopeful of being back coaching Detroit,” Brown said. “It was a terrible time for me. It should have been the best of times. But that’s over.
“I like the people in Cleveland. I’m thrilled Danny got the job. I’m thrilled that Mike got the job. And I think it’s worked out great for them.”
He added: “If you think about the way things worked out, it just was bad timing on a lot of people’s part. But I never changed on what I said to Cleveland and what I said to the people who were covering the story; if physically I was not able to coach again I would probably think about (being a general manager) but I really didn’t want to consider that. I wanted to coach and I told them that.”
There is widespread speculation Cavaliers forward LeBron James was not prepared to endorse Brown as a GM. James and Brown clashed at the 2004 Olympics over playing time.