27th February 06:46
Larry Brown fires back at Rod Thorn
May 9, 2004 -- AUBURN HILLS - Hall-of-Fame coach Larry Brown fired back at
Nets president Rod Thorn yesterday, calling him a "hothead" and accusing him
of phoning Hawks GM Billy Knight to complain about Atlanta trading Rasheed
Wallace to the Pistons.
Brown was steaming that Thorn questioned his career loyalty in response to
the Pistons coach questioning the Nets for firing Byron Scott. Brown
revealed Thorn was mad at the Hawks for making the three-team deal at the
trade deadline in which Atlanta only got back expiring contracts.
"When that guy can complain that we got Rasheed Wallace and yell at Billy
Knight, he has no business doing that," Brown said. "He's trying to get
Rasheed Wallace, too, and he's going to call Billy Knight and question his
integrity and what he did and how smart he was. He should mind his own
business and worry about his team."
Thorn's fears about Wallace winding up a Piston were well founded, as
Detroit is on the way to whipping past the Nets in this second-round series,
leading 2-0, with the series headed to the Meadowlands tonight for Game 3.
Brown also claimed it's a myth Jason Kidd got Scott fired. Kidd's reported
distaste for Scott's coaching was seen as a big factor in Scott's demise. "I
know Jason well enough that he didn't get rid of anybody," Brown said. "It
appears that's wrong."
However, Brown, in knocking Thorn, misstated facts when he charged, "(Rod)
came in and inherited a pretty damn good team. He's part of it, but you see
Tim Floyd get fired, Terry Stotts, you look down the list. I don't see these
general managers getting fired and backing their coaches."
Thorn actually hired Scott and they struggled through a 26-56 campaign the
first season before the Nets president acquired Kidd for Stephon Marbury.
Brown berated Net management Tuesday when The Post asked him if he thought
the Nets missed Scott. Brown said, "I'm sick of where our profession is
going. You get all these GMs who come in and all the coaches leave. It
bothers the hell out of me. I've watched Lawrence. He's done a great job.
But the one thing in the back of my mind, Byron took two teams to The
Finals. We shouldn't forget that. But Byron Scott should be coaching in our
On Friday, Brown added, "To all of a sudden say, basically, 'Look, anybody
can coach.' They're basically saying that."
Thorn mistakenly took that not only as a slap at him but Lawrence Frank and
seethed before Friday's Game 2, saying "I think that's totally off base. And
coming from him, his past, the things he's done, he has no idea what goes on
with our team."
Yesterday, Brown said Thorn missed the point. "I didn't say one thing about
Lawrence but respect for what he's done," Brown said. "I was saying we don't
consider coaches being very important. We cast them out as easily as signing
a player (with a 10-day) contract. And that's not right.
"I look around the league and I haven't won a championship," Brown added.
"Once I've gone to The Finals and I know how difficult it is to get there.
When you see a guy get there twice and it's a middle of the season, it
bothers me. When you do something like that you disrespect our profession.
Nothing against Lawrence Frank. He's done what he's supposed to do."