Larry Brown has a message for Allen Iverson: don’t give up.
Iverson’s former coach said Friday he thinks the 10-time All-Star “still has a passion to play” and shouldn’t retire. An online report this week indicated Iverson had decided to end his career after receiving little interest from NBA teams.
Brown, who coached Iverson in Philadelphia when he was voted league MVP in 2001 while leading the 76ers to the NBA finals, said he’s been trying to get in touch with him.
“Anybody that knows him understands how much he loves to play,” said Brown, now coaching the Charlotte Bobcats.
In the preseason, when Iverson was shopping himself, Brown talked about his former All-Star and said that he didn’t think Charlotte would be a good location because they weren’t competing for a championship. And while that’s definitely true, shouldn’t you still, you know, NOT say that in public? Just sends kind of a downer message to a team that you need to fight in every game. Now comes Brown talking about Iverson after passing on him when no one else would take him, which would have provided him an ideal situation, advising him not to give up. Brown’s been very involved in Iverson’s career this year, talking to his management team when he left the Grizzlies. Yet he’s not bringing him onto his team.
I’m not saying he’s got to avoid saying anything about other teams. He’s an elder statesman for the league and has been around long enough to do what he wants. But if he wants to be mentoring a player he’s not coaching, should he be coaching? The Bobcats need his attention and he seems focused on a former player’s career being extended elsewhere.