LOS ANGELES, CA (June 28, 2015) – In what has become an annual tradition, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRA) announced today naming Larry Brown, the Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and the University of Kansas, as the recipient of the 21st Annual Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the NBCA.
NBA legend Larry Brown was named the winner of the “21”’ Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award” by the National Basketball Retired Players Association at the 2014 NBA Awards. Brown is a five-time NBA Finals MVP, seven-time NBA Coach of the Year, and an 18-time NBA Champion as a player. Brown led the New York Knicks to the NBA Championship in 1970, 1979, and 2000.
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PHOENIX – Larry Brown, the only coach to win an NCAA championship and an NBA title, was honored Thursday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with the 2021 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.
I admired Chuck, Brown said during the video conference in which he accepted the award. I think many of us who had the opportunity to coach him admired not only his coaching skills, but the way he handled himself. He made the coaching profession even more special in my opinion, just because he was a great guy.
You don’t win prizes like that unless you have special people around you. I have been fortunate to play under some of the best coaches that have ever coached. I have been fortunate enough to coach some of the greatest players in the history of the sport. There were incredible people sitting next to me who let me do what I love.
I keep telling people I’ve never worked in my life. And especially as a coach, I feel very fortunate. But this is an incredible honor, as good as anything I’ve ever tasted.
Brown has been a head coach 14 times in the last 50 years: three times as a college coach (UCLA, Kansas, where he won the national title in 1988, and SMU); 10 times as an ABA or NBA coach (Carolina Cougars in the ABA, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons (where he won the 2004 NBA title), New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats). In 2018, he had a brief stint in Italy with Auxilium Torino.
Brown, 80, ranks eighth among coaches with NBA wins (1,098) and is one of only nine coaches in NBA history with more than 1,000 wins. In addition to the 2004 championship with Detroit, Brown has made two other NBA Finals – 2001 with Philadelphia and 2005 with Detroit.
As a college coach, Brown reached the Final Four three times – in 1979 with UCLA, 1986 and 1988 with Kansas – and compiled a record of 266-99 in 11 seasons.
Our guest of honor this year has one of the most illustrious careers in coaching history, said NBCA president Rick Carlisle, who recently changed jobs after more than a decade with the Dallas Mavericks to replace Nate Bjorkgren with the Indiana Pacers. He had a very, very distinguished career.
Brown’s coaching career seemed over after his 2018 stay in Italy, where he went 5-19 in his only season before being fired. But that changed in the last two weeks, when Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, who played with Brown with the Knicks, invited him to join his team as an assistant coach.
I hope I haven’t forgotten how to coach, said Brown, who held a video conference in a Memphis long-sleeved jersey and in the presence of several Tigers trophies. That’s my concern. But since I stopped working out, I’ve seen a lot of other people work out, and I’ve enjoyed it. I still love the smell of the gym. I think with COVID I’ve participated in every zoom and podcast imaginable, trying to convey ideas and what I’ve learned.
I am thrilled that Penny has given me the opportunity to work with young children and make an impact on their lives, both on and off the field. I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to it.
Although Brown won the title with Detroit, his most memorable stop was probably Philadelphia, where he coached the Sixers for six seasons while rubbing elbows with and sometimes clashing with future Hall of Fame player Allen Iverson.
I worked with an incredible team, Brown said. I had a phenomenal owner, Ed Snyder. I think Philadelphia loves basketball as much as any place I’ve been. The fans are great. The players I have coached have been extraordinary. We didn’t win a championship, but I think the 2001 team is one of the most beloved teams that played here, because of their work ethic and culture. And we had a lot of good players. We had a guy who is probably as good as anyone who has ever played this game – Allen Iverson.
That’s why I’m a big fan of Philadelphia. In fact, my first recruiting visit will be Saturday in Philadelphia. I can’t wait to go back.
Brown, who grew up in Brooklyn and played college at North Carolina before winning an ABA title, said he wanted to be a high school coach as a kid and work with young players.
I think they go hand in hand, to be honest. I looked at my life, I lost my father when I was very young, and my brother, my mother and my coaches were very important people in my life, Brown said. From the beginning I wanted to be a high school coach, coach baseball, basketball, football, maybe teach American history and be like my mentors, my coaches.
When you get an award like that, I think Chuck Daly was just that. The responsibilities of a coach go far beyond coaching and teaching children. The relationships you build are incredible. As far as competition goes, I’m pretty competitive, but the games really excited me. I always wondered if we had prepared our team for all the challenges. But I loved the practice. I think the word practical is confusing to many people now, but it is the word I prefer. That’s why I’m so eager to get back into this work and share what I’ve learned.
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