Larry Brown may be back on the bench next season.

The Memphis Grizzlies have received permission to interview Brown, the 76ers' vice president of basketball operations, for their vacant head coaching position.

"We did grant Memphis permission to speak to Larry," Michael Preston, the Sixers' director of public relations, said yesterday.

The Sixers, who hired Brown during the first week of January, had no further comment.

Memphis general manager Jerry West has said he will step down when his contract expires on July 1. Tony Barone Sr. is the interim coach.

Brown was supposed to meet yesterday with Grizzlies owner Michael Hensley in Chicago, but no details were given.

Stacey Mitch, the Grizzlies' director of media relations, referred calls to Stan Meadows, the senior corporate counsel for the Grizzlies. Meadows was unavailable for comment last night.

Brown, who will turn 67 in September, was the Sixers' head coach for six seasons, from 1997-98 through 2002-03. He was out of coaching this season after being fired by the New York Knicks after the 2005-06 campaign. The Hall of Famer's regular-season NBA coaching record is 1,010-800.

This could be the first of a number of interviews for Brown. Yesterday, the Indiana Pacers fired head coach Rick Carlisle. Brown was head coach of the Pacers for four seasons before taking the same job with the Sixers.

Seattle is looking for a coach and general manager after firing Bob Hill and Rick Sund.

The Charlotte Bobcats are also looking for a head coach to replace Bernie Bickerstaff. Brown has close ties to fellow University of North Carolina alum Michael Jordan, who will hire the new Bobcats coach.

- Marc Narducci