Friday, June 4, 2004

Brown has been through it all, except NBA title

The Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Larry Brown's "play the right way" mantra seems to be in conflict with the Hack-a-Shaq strategy used against Shaquille O'Neal.

"I've never done that, but if the guy is going to shoot a layup and he's a 50 percent free throw shooter, maybe you foul him," the Detroit Pistons coach said Thursday. "That's not bad basketball.

"That's not Hack-a-Shaq. That's hack anybody who's not a good free-throw shooter."

Brown wasn't ready to reveal his plans Thursday.

Brown said he doesn't plan to ditch his trapping man-to-man defense against the high-scoring Lakers, at least initially.

"We got here by playing a certain way and we're going to have to do our best to continue," Brown said. "But if stuff we do doesn't work, you have to try things."

Brown has coached with 10 franchises in 32 years.

After six seasons in Philadelphia, where he became frustrated with Allen Iverson's attitude, he fell in love with the Pistons.

"It was like being with the Olympic team this season," Brown has said. "We coach and we teach, and that's what I like."

Brown's career has taken him to the NBA, ABA, college - and the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"There's not many guys who haven't won a championship who have gone in," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "His coaching ability and his influence on the game has earned him the respect of a lot of people in basketball."

Brown is the first coach to lead seven different teams to the NBA playoffs, and to take four teams to the conference or division finals.

His 933 regular-season victories in the NBA rank seventh all-time; his 81 playoff wins are tied with K.C. Jones for fourth; he led the 76ers to the 2001 finals; he led Kansas to the 1988 NCAA title; and he'll coach the U.S. Olympic team this summer.

But Brown has never won an NBA title.

The Pistons hope to change that.

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