As a Philadelphian, I will always forgive Larry Brown for many of the egotistical brainfarts he's committed in his loooong and well-traveled coaching career for the rejuvenation period he brought to the Sixers when he coached here .(His 2001 Sixers team will always be one of the most revered ones in Philly sports folklore — blood, guts, Iverson, et al.) But then, of course, there's the other side of Larry Brown. The curmudgeonly, single-minded tactician whose basketball universe only populates one planet, most likely called Brownanus. That guy showed up to talk to the New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence about why this year's gold medal-winning Redeem Team succeeded more than his 2004 squad.
"The thing is they got guys that are willing to make a three-year commitment, which I think is tremendous," Brown said of this current Team USA. "We had guys that committed (for 2004) and then all of a sudden 9/11 happened, and then there were injuries."There's no doubt that 9/11 did have an impact on that 2004 team that would've clearly made that year an easy gold medal victory. Remember just how preoccupied Marbury and Iverson were over it during those initial practice sessions some three years after the attacks? Brown begged to send them home because they were so distracted, broken up, and obsessing over the tragedy. And poor Carmelo Anthony was so depressed thinking about 9/11 during the 2004 Olympics that he could barely muster enough energy to come off the bench for his team. As my memory serves me, he spent most of his time on the bench reciting the victim's names under his breath, only getting up a few times during the whole tournament to light candles behind the scorer's table. Never forget, Carmelo. Never forget. ***** Anyway. Tonight: The storied non-rivalry continues as the Mets head into South Phillly for another two-day rock fight. Pedro's on the mound. Everybody hits...woo-hoo!. (Whatever happened to that guy anyway?) Tomorrow: come back for Wednesday. Humpity-doo-da. Thank you for your continued support of Ball Don't Lie. Larry Brown, stop it [Ball Don't Lie] It's commitment that takes medal for USA Basketball [NY Daily News]