Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Hall of Famer and Brooklyn native Larry Brown was officially named the new coach at SMU Thursday and the release from the school says nothing about a coach-in-waiting.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at SMU,” said Brown, 71, who will join the Big East Conference with SMU in 2013. “I’ve built so many relationships in the basketball world and my success has been due to the coaches I’ve played for and the players I’ve coached. I want to thank them all. I always thought of myself as a college coach and this gives me a wonderful chance to get back where I started.”
“Larry Brown is one of the top coaches in the history of the game,” said AD Steve Orsini. “He is a legend and has made every team he has ever coached a winner. As we transition into the nation’s top basketball conference, the Big East, his leadership will be invaluable.”
Brown is the only coach ever to win an NBA title (2004, Detroit Pistons) and an NCAA championship (1988, Kansas).
“I say congratulations,” Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday.
“He’s a great coach,” added Woodson, who worked under Brown in Philadelphia and Detroit and also followed him in the list of Knicks coaches. “He’s won at every level. He knows what it takes to win in college.”
Brown is the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history with 1,098 career victories, and led his teams to 18 playoff appearances, eight 50-win seasons, seven division titles, three conference championships and one NBA Championship.
Brown was most recently head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats and guided the Bobcats to the franchise’s first-ever playoff appearance in 2010. Charlotte was the eighth different team he led to the postseason – an NBA record.
SMU has two local commitments in the Class of 2012, including 7-foot center Blaise Mbargorba of the Peddie School and 6-3 Xaverian shooting guard Brian Bernardi, who has yet to hear from Brown.
“We haven’t heard anything,” Xaverian assistant Chris Alesi told SNY.tv. “Obviously, the plan is hoping they reach out pretty soon.”
Asked if Bernardi would likely remain with his commitment, Alesi said, “I hope so. The kid hasn’t varied much. There’s a lot of variables, though.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.