Springfield Armor Announce Head Coach Dee Brown and Assistant Coach Kevin Whitted
SPRINGFIELD, MA JULY 29, 2009 – In a press conference at the MassMutual Center today, the Springfield Armor named former NBA player Dee Brown as Head Coach and Director of Basketball Operations and Kevin Whitted as Assistant Coach.
Brown, who enjoyed a distinguished 12-year NBA career that included eight seasons with the Boston Celtics, becomes the first head coach in Springfield Armor history. He also becomes the sixth former Celtics player to serve as a head coach in the NBA Development league, joining Dennis Johnson, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Joe Wolf, Sam Vincent and Jay Humphries.
“To have Dee Brown as our first head coach is huge,” Springfield Armor Managing Partner Michael Savit said. “Not only is Dee thought of fondly throughout New England and beyond following his days with the Celtics, he also is a terrific mentor for young players and an all-around great ambassador for the sport. He is a perfect fit for our organization and for a city with such a rich basketball tradition.”
Brown played in 476 games as a member of the Celtics after they selected him 19th overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. Brown played in all 82 regular-season games during a spectacular rookie campaign that earned his selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1990-91. He averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 assists to help the Celtics win the NBA Atlantic Division with a 56-26 record that season. In 11 games during the 1991 playoffs, Brown averaged 12.2 points.
Amid his rookie season, Brown gained national acclaim after emerging the Slam Dunk champion during the 1991 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. The 6-1 Brown bested 6-10 Shawn Kemp in the finals with a unique “no-look” dunk, in which he draped his right arm over his eyes in mid-air and slammed the ball with his left.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to return to Massachusetts, where I have many wonderful memories from my playing career,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with the talented, young players that will wear the Armor uniform and to making this new NBA D-League team in Springfield a winner.”
Following a 608-game career in the NBA that included stints with the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic, Brown made the transition to coaching with the Orlando Miracle of the WNBA in 2002. He also coached the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars in 2004 before launching an on-air career. The winner of ESPN’s “Dream Job 3,” Brown made regular appearances on that network and was the co-host on Sirius Satellite Radio’s daily NBA talk show “Full Court Press.”
In addition to playing, coaching and analyzing the game, Brown also has dedicated himself to the development of the stars of tomorrow. He is the owner and CEO of the EDGE Basketball, LLC, which was created to train players ranging from middle school to the professional ranks on the basketball fundamentals.
Brown, 40, resides in Windemere, FL with his wife Tammy, daughters Alexis (14), Alyssa (12) and Alanni (7) and son Anakin (4). Tammy (Jones) Brown is a native of Massachusetts who played women’s basketball for Springfield’s American International College.
Whitted has a connection to someone who will be immortalized in Springfield this September. A prolific shooter at E.A. Laney High School from 1987-90, Whitted holds the school’s all-time scoring record. The previous holder of that record was NBA legend Michael Jordan, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11.
Following a playing career that included 972 points in three years at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, a professional career in Europe and a training-camp stint with the Dallas Mavericks, Whitted joined the head coaching ranks with the Atlanta Vision of the American Basketball Association in 2005. After two seasons at the helm with the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, Whitted made his NBA D-League debut as an assistant with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last season.
Whitted and his wife De-Neia reside in Kure Beach, NC with their daughters Peyton (14) and Paige (2). Peyton Whitted and Alexis Brown play on the same AAU basketball team.
With an ownership group led by the Massachusetts-based Savit, NBA Springfield was announced as the NBA Development League’s second team in New England during a press conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on March 31. Beginning in November, the recently named Springfield Armor will play a 50-game schedule, including 24 home dates at the MassMutual Center.
Emphasizing affordable family entertainment and NBA-caliber basketball, the Springfield Armor has season tickets beginning at just $91! For more information, please call (413) 746-3263 or visit here.
NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and featured 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams during the 2008-09 season. This fall, two new NBA D-League teams will begin play in Portland, Maine and Springfield, Mass.-- the birthplace of basketball. Eighty-four former NBA Development League players were on 2008-09 NBA end-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 20 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.