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Report: Brown wants to coach

Larry Brown's agent, Joe Glass, said his client, who interviewed with the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday, wants to coach again after taking a season off, according to a report.

Larry Brown's agent, Joe Glass, said his client, who interviewed with the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday, wants to coach again after taking a season off, according to a report.

"Larry Brown will be a popular candidate for any basketball enterprise whether it be college or pro that's looking for a coach because he's a good coach," Glass told the Memphis Commercial Appeal yesterday.

Brown, an executive vice president with the Sixers, met with Memphis owner Michael Heisley concerning the Grizzlies vacancy.

Heisley said, however, that other candidates also were being considered.

"Anybody would have to be impressed with Larry, OK? He's one of the great coaches in NBA history," Heisley told the Commercial Appeal. "I wouldn't be talking to Larry Brown if I wasn't interested, but I wouldn't be having a process if I was interested in just one person."

The Sixers gave permission for Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, to interview with the Grizzlies. Brown, who coached the Sixers from 1997-2002, rejoined the team in his current position in January after being fired after one season by the New York Knicks. The 66-year-old Brown has coached 11 teams in the ABA, NCAA and NBA. He won an NCAA national championship at Kansas (1988) and an NBA title in Detroit (2004). He also coached at UCLA.

Besides Brown, Phoenix assistant coach Marc Iavoroni, who played for the Sixers from 1982-85, is rumored as a possible candidate.

Heisley is looking for a new coach for a franchise that went from the playoffs to the NBA's worst record at 22-60 in one season. Coach Mike Fratello was fired in December and replaced on an interim basis by Tony Barone Sr.

Heisley also must hire a new president and general manager, with Jerry West leaving once his contract ends June 30.

Former Denver GM Kiki Vandeweghe, who once played for Brown, is a possible candidate for general manager.


* Golden State guard Monta Ellis won the Most Improved Player award. Ellis, who averaged 16.4 points and 4.1 assists, edged Sacramento's Kevin Martin by three points in the closest voting in the award's history, earning 47 first-place votes and 352 points from a media panel.

* Jason Kidd missed the New Jersey Nets' practice because of a strained left knee and will be a gametime decision for tonight's third game of the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors.

Kidd was hurt early in Game 2 while attempting to draw an offensive foul, but remained in the game and finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds in New Jersey's 89-83 loss. The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1.

* Golden State coach Don Nelson said he will fine Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson for being ejected from the Warriors' 112-99 loss in Game 2 of the club's first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks.

Davis and Jackson put on a taunting, preening display that dampened an otherwise successful trip for the eighth-seeded Warriors.

The NBA hasn't announced any potential discipline against Davis, who apparently was thrown out for sarcastically applauding the officials late in the third quarter, or Jackson, who left the court in a contentious, roundabout manner after getting his second technical foul in the final minutes.

* Coby Karl, son of Denver coach George Karl, worked out at the Nuggets' practice court, a sign that he is recovering well from the 7-hour surgery he had on April 2 to remove cancerous lymph nodes,

"It feels good to get a sweat going," the Boise State basketball player said. "I'm tired, but it's a good thing. You know you're getting better."

In games last night:

* At Orlando, Tayshaun Prince scored 23 points, Chauncey Billups added 21 and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Magic, 93-77, to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round, Eastern Conference playoff series.

Game 4 is tomorrow afternoon in Orlando.

Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 27 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Dwight Howard, who lacked energy in Game 2 because of a stomach illness, had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

* At Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer's 14 points led Utah to an 81-67 win over Houston, which got 19 points each from Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.

The Rockets lead the Western Conference series, 2-1, with Game 4 tomorrow night at Utah. *