One Wild and Crazy Guy

The History Channel Presents Hardwood Classics Nights

With a basketball resume that includes 32 years of coaching at the collegiate or professional level, enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2002, three ABA Coach of the Year awards, 2001 NBA Coach of the Year honors, an NCAA Championship in 1988 and a NBA Championship in 2004, Larry Brown continues adding achievements to an outstanding coaching career. He became the first coach to win a NCAA and NBA Championship and the 12th coach in NBA history to win an NBA title in his first season.

Brown started his coaching career in 1972-73 with the American Basketball Association’s Carolina Cougars and in his 32 years of coaching and 1,000 wins on the horizon, his mantra of, “Play the right way” has remained the same, but as you’ll see, one style has changed. Brown might roam the sidelines without a tie occasionally, but he usually is seen as one of the best-dressed coaches in the league. How can he not be with those pinstripe suits and cufflinks?

The seventies were a different time though. A little more free in thought and in actions. Brown fit that mold in actions. Overalls, sweaters, you name it he probably wore it. “As a coach, I wish you could basically wear what you like,” said Brown. “In the ABA, they allowed us that (option). At the time it was fun, but looking back and seeing those pictures, a lot of people get a lot of laughs. I felt like ‘Saturday Night Live,’ you know, a couple of wild and crazy guys.”

Brown sticks with the dress code nowadays, but will we be seeing Larry Brown back in a pair of overalls? “Well, the NBA wouldn’t allow that,” stated Brown.

Brown coached his 2,000th career professional game with a 90-86 overtime victory vs. the Toronto Raptors on December 8th and will soon move into fourth place for most wins among NBA head coaches, surpassing Bill Fitch’s mark of 944. As of December 15, Brown had 943 career NBA victories.