While it isn't completely clear whether Larry Brown wants to resume his Hall of Fame coaching career, the Memphis Grizzlies have made it clear that he is still viewed as a viable option.
Accept this much as a harmless play on words about Brown's insistence on how his teams perform: The Grizzlies did it "the right way."
Ed Snider, the chairman of the ownership group that oversees the Sixers, confirmed that the team had given the Grizzlies permission to speak with Brown, their executive vice-president.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that Brown was to meet yesterday with Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley.
"All I know is, [the Grizzlies] requested permission and I granted it," said Snider, who also said he was unsure whether Brown wanted to coach again. "I'm sure he's looking at his options, and that he's curious about what's involved. I do know that he's been a valuable member of our executive staff and that we want him with us through the draft."
"I think a bunch of teams are talking to him, I think he does miss coaching," said John Calipari, the University of Memphis coach and a close friend and former assistant to Brown with the Sixers.
Calipari, though, said he was a bit skeptical of how serious Brown's interest in the Grizzlies might be. He said if Brown were planning to go forward with this, it's likely that he would have heard more recently from him.
"We've talked over the last month or so, and I'd love to see him here [with the Grizzlies]," he said. "It'd be great for our program, because he's a coach who shares."
Calls to Stan Meadows, a spokesperson for Heisley, and to Joe Glass, Brown's long-time agent, were not immediately answered.
The report of Brown's scheduled meeting with Heisley comes on the heels of a report that Brown had been one of 10 candidates interviewed for the Princeton coaching job that eventually went to Georgetown assistant Sydney Johnson.
Happy to help
The call to Sixers forward Kyle Korver came Tuesday. Yesterday, in his role as a spokesperson for "Nothing But Nets," a grass-roots campaign to prevent malaria, he found himself in part of an NBA-WNBA group at lunch yesterday with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. The President declared yesterday, already recognized as Africa Malaria Day, as National Malaria Awareness Day for the first time in the U.S.A.
"It's cool to meet the President and First Lady, but it's a very different scene for me," Korver said. "I've never been involved in politics, so it was a very eye-opening experience to see that side."
Korver became aware of the "Nothing But Nets" program when he traveled to Africa last summer as part of a "Basketball Without Borders" contingent. He learned that one way to prevent malaria in Africa is to sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets, stopping mosquitoes carrying the disease from biting. A $10 donation via www.NothingButNets.net provides a net and educates an African family on its use.
"It's easy to be a part of this," Korver said. "Give $10, buy a net, save a life. That's something people can help with." *