The 76ers say they have had no contact with former coach Larry Brown or any of his representatives and have not made contact with John Langel, the agent for former Sixers All-Star guard Doug Collins.
Sixers chairman Ed Snider referred to a Yahoo.com report that Brown - now coaching the Charlotte Bobcats - was positioning himself to return to the Sixers as president and perhaps coach as "total, unadulterated bull."
The story also said current president/general manager Ed Stefanski had reached out to Collins. A source familiar with the situation said Stefanski had not contacted anyone, but was gathering information on prospective candidates.
"I don't know where this stuff comes from," Snider said last night. "I keep reading that [new Bobcats owner] Michael Jordan has said it'd be OK for Brown to leave [under certain circumstances]. But it's not coming from us. Nothing is coming from us."
The Sixers could not officially contact Brown until the Bobcats were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
Speaking last night after Charlotte was ousted from the playoffs by Orlando, Brown addressed the report.
"Come on, man . . . I think I've answered that for the last 2 months," he said.
"I've said I'm not coaching anywhere but Charlotte. Now am I going to go home and talk to my wife and kids? I'll be 70 years old . . . two young kids . . . Am I going to go talk to them? And find out what I need to do? And am I going to talk to Michael? Yeah . . . absolutely. But I'm not coaching anywhere but for Michael Jordan . . . if he wants me . . . and if I can work it out with my family."
Yahoo reported that Brown has targeted Washington Wizards front office executive Milt Newton as his general manager and possibly Mike Woodson as the coach if Brown did not coach himself. Woodson, a former Sixers assistant, would be an option only if he does not sign a new deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Snider insisted he knew nothing about any of that.
As for a possible return by Brown, who coached the Sixers for six seasons beginning in 1997-98, Snider said: "I don't even know that we're interested. But if we were interested - and I don't know that we are - it would only be as a coach. And I don't know that we are."
Brown, who has 2 years left on his contract, has said he would not coach for anyone but Jordan. Jordan has said he wouldn't want Brown to leave, but if there were extenuating circumstances at home, he would not stand in Brown's way. Brown's wife, Shelly, and their two children have remained in the Philadelphia suburbs while Brown has coached the Bobcats.
Snider also said that Stefanski has full authority to contact potential coaches as a replacement for the fired Eddie Jordan. A source confirmed that Collins, who also has drawn interest from the New Orleans Hornets, could become a candidate.
There has been no direct contact with Collins, currently a TNT analyst and a former coach of the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Wizards.
Collins was very interested in speaking with the Sixers last year before they hired Eddie Jordan, but was never granted an interview. *
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