BROWN, LAWRENCE H.

BROWN, LAWRENCE H.
BROWN, LAWRENCE H. (Larry; 1940– ), U.S. basketball coach and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Brown is the only coach to win both a college basketball championship (University of Kansas, 1988) and an NBA championship (Detroit Pistons, 2004), and the only person to ever win an Olympic gold medal as a player (1964) and coach (2000). Born in Brooklyn, New York, the 5ʹ 9ʹʹ point guard grew up on Long Island, where he attended Long Beach H.S. before playing at the University of North Carolina from 1959 to 1963, captaining the 1962–63 team as a senior and being named an honorable mention All-American. Selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the seventh round (56th overall) but considered too small to play in the NBA, Brown went to the NABL Akron Goodyear Wingfoots, where he played for two years (1963–65), leading the team to the 1964 AAU National Championship, and then played that summer on the 1964 U.S. Olympic team. After serving as an assistant coach at North Carolina (1965–67), Brown joined the newly formed American Basketball Association and played for five teams in five years, being named MVP of the 1968 All-Star game and holding the ABA record for assists in a game with 23. In 1972 Brown became head coach of a Carolina Cougars team that had gone 35–49 the year before and led the team to a league-best 57–27 regular-season record and his first Coach of the Year award. After one more season with Carolina, Brown took over the Denver Rockets and won two more Coach of the Year awards, in 1975 and 1976. The ABA then merged with the NBA and the Rockets became known as the Nuggets in 1976–77 with Brown leading them to Midwest Division titles in 1977 and 1978 before resigning late in the 1978–79 season. Brown then coached at UCLA for two seasons before returning to the NBA with the New Jersey Nets in 1981. He left them in the 1982–83 season and became head coach at the University of Kansas, winning the 1987–88 national title by defeating Oklahoma 83–79 and earning the Naismith Award as College Coach of the Year. Brown returned to the NBA to coach the San Antonio Spurs from 1988 to 1992, when he was let go midway through the season, the first time Brown was ever fired. He took over the Los Angeles Clippers less than two weeks later and led them to their first playoff appearance in 16 years. Brown coached the Indianapolis Pacers in 1993–97, when he resigned after posting only his second losing season in 25 years of coaching. Brown became coach of the Philadelphia 76'ers five days later, leading a team that had gone 22–60 the year before his arrival to playoff appearances in five of his six years there. The 2001 team went to the NBA championship game for the first time in 18 years and Brown won Coach of the Year honors. Brown began coaching the Detroit Pistons in 2003, and in his first year led the team to the 2004 NBA championship, becoming the oldest coach in NBA history to win a title and the only coach in NBA history to lead seven different teams to the playoffs – no other coach had even done it six times. He thus became the fifth Jewish head coach to win an NBA title, joining eddie gottlieb , red auerbach , red holzman , and les harrison . Brown again reached the finals in 2005, losing in seven games. His lifetime record was 177–61 in seven full collegiate seasons for a .744 winning percentage; 229–107 (.682) in four ABA seasons; and 987–741 (.571) in 23 NBA seasons as of the end of the 2005 season. Brown ranks first in all-time cumulative coaching victories, covering all levels of basketball from high school to professional including playoffs, and is second all-time with 1,216 combined NBA/ABA head coaching victories. After the 2005 season Brown left the Pistons and was named coach of the New York Knicks. Brown won a gold medal at the 1961 Maccabiah games, and in 2002 was the 20th Jewish inductee in the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. HERB BROWN (1936– ), Larry's older brother, is also an experienced basketball coach. Herb graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He was Coach of the Year at SUNY Stony Brook in 1969 and in 1975 coached the Israel Sabras to the championship of the European Professional Basketball League. Brown was head coach of the Detroit Pistons from 1976 to 1978 and assistant coach for a number of NBA teams. He was also a head coach in the WBA and CBA, and other professional basketball leagues in his 40-year coaching career. He coached the U.S. team to a gold medal at the 2001 Maccabiah Games and a bronze at the 1997 games. He is the author of three books, Basketball's Box Offense (1995), Preparing for Special Situations (1997), and Let's Talk Defense (2005). (Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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