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The Larry Special

That's a tough call, who he'd reach for. I was just looking at our draft history trying to decide and I noticed that we briefly had the rights to Utah's Fesenko and dealt him for Herb Hill. Why? Why'd we deal Sefolosha for Carney? Anyway, in fairness to Larry picking Larry, other players picked ahead of Pierce and Dirk included Traylor, Olowokandi, LaFrentz, and Jason Williams. He's picked some busts but they were rarely obvious busts at the time. Larry loves the UNC kids, of course, but I think even he knows that Ed Davis is a project. You could see him getting infatuated with Monroe's skill set. Then again, Wes Johnson seems like an LB kind of player and that wouldn't at all be a bad pick.

deepsixersuede on Apr 27 at 7:18

I think he drafts the "most ready" player available, Johnson or Aldrich [if Sam tells him he won!t reup]. He trades L.Will. for Maxiel and brings back Theo.And Marreese WILL have to earn minutes and may sit a lot. He adds a veteren p.g. and there is your roster;


bdownbear reply to deepsixersuede on Apr 27 at 7:46

And if that doesn't work.....First round picks with our youth for overpaid veterans. He's going to fix the mess thats for sure. A two year fix and then Brown jets. We are FUCKED!!!

I just hope he doesn't take over in time to trade away this year's #1 pick.

Makes a couple moves to remake this team. I actually think these could be made........

- sends Lou Will, Kapono and Speights to the Clippers for Baron Davis(bad contract) & D Jordan.

- Drafts Ed Davis(NC!) to eventually become his mucking Tyrone Hill player.

- Sends Willie back home to Detroit plus JSmith and a 2nd round pick for J Maxiell(long contract).

Sounds about right.

You have to think bigger... like the ultimate LB rehab job:

Kapono + Lou + Thad -> Arenas

Speights + Smith-> Maxiel

Sign Theo, Hughes, AI (yes, AI)

Draft Udoh

Resign Sam and Willie 4 more years

Starters: Jrue/Arenas/Iguodala/Brand/Sam
Bench: AI/WG/Hughes/Maxiel/Theo/Udoh(no minutes his 1st year)

Not sure who is their reserve SF. Maybe resign Carney or find some other Jumaine Jones like LB cast off?

You have to admit... that is a LB team. 2 chuckers who are "uncoachable" (Arenas and AI) and a bunch of defense first, high character, high motor muckers and grinders... and Sam and Udoh as the twin tower projects.

And every one of those moves could easily happen, and work under the cap.

You're missing something here. Who gets the 5-year, full MLE deal? Has to be a big, right? What about Dampier?

No, my deal works without using the MLE... unless that is what you use for your SF. I think that money gets eaten up with Sam's extension.

Doesn't the squad I came up with remind you of a basterdized version of the LB AI teams?

Oh, you're miscalculating, then. If he has it at his disposal, the full MLE will be used on someone.

Actually, is Scola an unrestricted free agent? He might not be a bad target.

Charlie Ace on Apr 27 at 11:22

Man, some scary stuff here. Anybody just a little bit optimistic? Okay, neither am I.

Would Jrue be a back-up to Baron? I don't see them starting together.

I think he'll love Jrue and Iguodala for their defensive toughness, and I can see him keeping Kapono and maybe Sam. Everybody else would be available. I can see him going after Anthony Randolph. Maybe Shane Battier and Chase Budinger from Houston for Sam & Thad, something like that. We'd have to take Jeffries too, I guess.

yes, i agree, i see him going after Anthony Randolph.

By the way, I talked to a Hawks fan I know, and read the comments on this story and it seems like the general reaction by Atlanta fans to Woodson bolting for Philly would be, "good riddance."

johnrosz on Apr 27 at 12:49

I'm going to be optimistic. Woodson won't leave ATL, and LB is going to coach this squad for at least a few years. Larry probably sees a lot of E Snow in Jrue. I think he'd be infatuated with the idea of molding Jrue into a PG that "plays the game the right way" I know I've heard he likes Thad too. I think Jrue would start outright, and Thad might actually learn how to play defense under LB.

I'd love to see Lou react to LB the same way he used to when Cheeks would tell him to D up (laugh it off, shake his head, slap mo on the back and sit on the bench) I'd buy a ticket just to see that actually.

I think LB will want players who can effectively run his rotation based defensive schemes -- big guards, quick defensive forwards, and shot blocking centers.

So he'll want to unload all the players on the roster that don't fit into one of those categories. By my count that includes Speights, Smith and Brand among the bigs, and Lou, Kapono, and Willie among the guards (not that there will be many takers, but at least he'll try).

I think he'll want to keep, depending on his mood, and which way the wind is blowing tht day, Iguodala, Jrue, Sammy, Elson, Thaddeus, and maybe Carney and Meeks.

Look for him to add players from non playoff teams who fit those defensive needs but nobody values and have been in the league a few years and haven't shown much, guys like JaVale McGee, Ime Udoka, Corey Brewer, or retreads who are past their prime and can do a few defensive things well, like Ben Wallace, Jeff Foster, or Brian Skinner. I'm getting bored just writing those names down ...

Jake reply to Jake on Apr 27 at 14:19

I forgot to add that I don't really believe that LB would come to Philly and not coach the team. I don't think he can stay away from the action.

Sure he could. As President he gets to stay in the game, but without the travel.

He'll enjoy the whole family and life of leisure thing for a year... and then get bored and return to coaching.

I don't know if he has said it- but I think watching his close friend Karl fight cancer has probably been a bit of a wake up call in terms of life off the court, family, etc.

Jake reply to tk76 on Apr 27 at 16:08

Yeah, you're probably right re: a one year Philly sabbatical if he takes front office job; but I don't think he's taking the job because he's dying to stick around this house with his wife and teenage kids.

He's Larry Frickin' Brown and he knows that if he stays in one place too long his players will tune him out, and then he'll have to face the prospect of being stuck on a losing team, and then the other teams won't want him anymore. So he wants out of Charlotte and into the next job that'll have him.

Maybe now that he's older and knows he can get paid in Philly to sit out the year, still be involved in the game, and get the wife off his case, he'll do it. But the guy lives to coach the pro game. I don't see him satisfied until he's got another head coaching job.

Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 14:27

Spoke to Ed Stefanski for five minutes this afternoon.

I asked if he's been told he's hiring the next coach.

His response: "I’m proceeding as normal, working on the draft and the coach. We’ve reached out to people who haven’t made the playoffs to talk about trades. We’re very busy."

JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 14:29

He is awesome at avoiding questions isn't he?

Tom Moore reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 27 at 14:32

I hear you, John, but must admit I appreciate he'll at least call me back.

ES seems like a pretty classy person (as does BK.) Shame they did not work out better as Sixer GMs.

Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Apr 27 at 14:49

Yes, he is the most cooperative Sixers GM I've dealt with since John Nash in the late 1980s. Allowing me to do my job has to account for something, at least in my eyes.

Did Luukko or Snider say Stefanski would have a spot in the organization no matter what? Meaning, if they bring Brown in and he brings in his own GM, Stefanski would stay on board in some other role?

I may be misremembering, but I could've sworn I read that somewhere, thought you had the quote.

Tom Moore reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 14:54

I wasn't told that, Brian. Not saying it isn't true, but Luukko didn't tell me.

Luukko hasn't responded to my last two e-mails over a week's time after consistently getting back to me prior to then.

My memory is going. Thanks, Tom.

What's your gut feeling on this whole LB situation?

Tom Moore reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 16:01

Brian, I think it's Brown or Stefanski. Would guess Brown makes up his mind within a week about coming here and Snider/Luukko would do the same. I do find it a little hard to believe that Brown would come in as president and not coach -- only he can win with the players he gets.

" I do find it a little hard to believe that Brown would come in as president and not coach -- only he can win with the players he gets."

Hah, so true.

Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 14:29

Stefanski, on his reaction to the continuing Larry Brown rumors: "I don’t talk about it because coach Brown is under contract to another team. You go about your business. I go to work every day. I’m the president and GM of this team."

Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 14:31

Stefanski on the coaching search: "We have gathered a lot of information and done background checks on numerous people. We’re trying to dwindle that list down. By the end of this week — no later than next week — we’ll be contacting people and setting up interviews."

There was an interesting article that tried to define a "Larry Brown" Player -


So what defines a Larry Brown player?

"One, he has to have basketball savvy," Jordan said. "His IQ as a basketball player has to be high, maybe even more so than talent.

"Two, they need to be athletic — we have a very, very athletic team.

"Three, they have to have a defensive skill set."

Center Nazr Mohammed, who played for Brown here and in Philadelphia, adds a fourth quality: Versatility. Mohammed notes he and center Gana Diop are the only players on a 15-man roster who can fill just one position."

So, using that as a baseline, If Brown takes over, I believe we can say that Dala, Jrue are definitely safe; they have all 4 of his 'values'.

Thad & Sam are likely to be safe; Thad has versatility, athleticism and IQ and being willing to be coached up, while Sam has the defensive skillset, versatility and athleticism.

Willie Green has versatility, defensive mindset & athleticism. His defensive IQ is better than his Offensive IQ.

Jodie Meeks is too early to evaluate. Preliminarily, he has athleticism and seems to be a willing defender.

Carney could come back too; possessing all of Sam's qualities while being average BBIQ and a Calipari-coached player.

Brand is missing athleticism right now, but he's sunk cost.

Smith has athleticism but lacks the others.

Kapono has the IQ but lacks the others.

Speights has athleticism and versatility but lacks IQ and defensive mindset. If he is willing to listen to coaching, he might stay.

Lou, imo, is in the most trouble. He has athleticism, but he lacks on the others in a big way. He lacks even AI's defensive tenacity. Even worse from an LB perspective, He is an undersized 2, which in LB's mind, means he must have point skills, especially to run LB's PG centric offense. As a result, he likely will be among the 1st out the door, unless he straightens out in a major way. The only thing that might buy him time is that he was a BK draft pick

Do you think Brown makes a bunch of moves right away, or gives guys like Speights and Lou a chance to respond to some decent coaching?

On a somewhat related note- how crazy is it that Sam has had 8 coaches in 8 seasons?

I'm going to say moves this summer, definitely, if he winds up coaching. Really not sure if he takes over as president. I do think this could be a last stop for him (or at least that's what he would be thinking coming in), and he's ready to settle into Philly for the long haul in a cushy job. If that's the case, maybe he takes a more measured approach. Glass half full, I know, but it is a possibility.

I think Speights has a longer leash than Lou, imo. LB was here for some of Lou's career already, in his consultancy capacity, so I'd find it hard to believe he doesn't already have an informed opinion about him.

Speights, OTOH, LB was taking over in Charlotte right when Speights was drafted. They might have bounced the idea off him, but he would probably give him a hard look. Plus, Speights is a big, not a PG, which typically earns a longer look from LB.

I'm not sure if I see a flurry of moves. I do see an influx of hardnosed vets on the horizon though, bargain basement types. It really depends on who is coaching though

The Sam thing reminds me of Jason Campbell.

8 coaches in 8 years with very few actual big man coaches. Makes me cut him a bit of a break

Based on this, I think he'd be a fan of Aminu if he was making the draft pick. Super athlete, good size, can play multiple positions, defense ahead of offense.

I also think he'd insist on Favors over Cousins at #3.

Or Udoh.

Yep, Udoh as well.

Can't say I'd be unhappy w/ that pick, assuming Wall, Turner, Favors, Cousins and Wes are all off the board.

One thing I do know is that he tends to go project over polished in his drafting. LB's ego loves finding rough diamonds that he can mold.

I am not sure who he'd pick between Favors vs Cousins. A lot would depend on what his boy Calipari says, methinks. I definitely could see him picking Cousins(especially with people saying he reminds them of DC).

With cousins I see LB taking on the challenge if Cousins becomes a problem child elsewhere. Sort of like DC and Jackson. I don't think he would draft him.

Assuming we are not top 3? Absolutely. Aminu & Johnson would be right up his alley. The question is if he has had a chance to see Aminu, since Wake is in NC. Could I see the Sixers running out a LB lineup of Jrue, Dala, Thad, Aminu Sam? Not impossible.

Man is that a bad shooting team :)

Larry would love it. They'd shoot just like Charlotte did this year.

They'd run you out of the gym with a bunch of super-versatile defenders. Thad would be the worst on the floor, but they'd be a pressure defense, rebound and run unit.

Another reason he'd love Aminu: He's a versatile, athletic defensive minded combo forward from a NC school who loves to rebound and run. Can you say George Lynch?

Part of me thinks you're making all of these LB topics just to post his pictures

Tom Moore reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 16:04

Classic shots. Love the one with him wearing plaid pants, too. Stylin' and profilin', as Clyde Frazier would say.

Brian are you for Brown as a coach here? I know he brings the defensive credentials, but he doesn't exactly like to run.

He likes transition offense, doesn't like a fast pace. Which is exactly what the Sixers should be doing. Running off defensive plays and quick outlet passes off defensive boards. It doesn't equal a high pace, because the half court turns into a grind on both ends.

Rich reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 17:52

Saying he likes running off defensive plays is kind of redundant though because everybody does. Who doesn't pass up a fastbreak after a steal? His half-court stuff does slow it down, I get that, and that's alright with me.

I don't really see running as a philosophy for him, that's all. I don't remember him running off outlet passes the last time he was here. It seemed to me that it was a lot of Mutombo grabbing the rebound and Snow coming to get it then walking it up. Maybe Iverson would run with it every once in awhile, but isn't that more him as a dominant player? I was young though so I could be wrong.

Yes, snow walked the ball up at a snail's pace. That team hated early offense (although AI would sometimes jack up an early shot anyway.)

Part of LB's defensive philosophy is to only take shots when you have proper floor balance. this helps cut down on opponents fast break opportunities.

That could translate into less drives/penetration by Jrue- because LB will want him to stay above the foul line on offense. Or he'll pound into everyone else head that when Jrue drives someone has to be ready to get back on defense. McKie did a good job of covering when Snow drove.

Rich reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 17:55

Charlotte's got a very athletic team this year, and they were 18th in fastbreak points, so I'm a little concerned that LB might break the philosophy we want.

Charlotte didn't have Iguodala, who is probably the best transition player in the league not named LeBron, and he's been more willing to run than LeBron.

This is really interesting, and probably worth a post, but I'll share the link now.

It breaks out fast break triggers off defensive rebounds. Iguodala is 4th in the league in number of defensive rebounds leading to transition points with 91 (out of 331 defensive boards total). Lou led the team in average. As a team they converted 26% of their defensive boards into transition points. Charlotte converted 16%.

Rich reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 20:40

Not sure if one guy, even as good as Iggy is, makes a huge jump in transition if the coach doesn't really want to run. They have guys who like to run too in Felton, Jackson, Diaw, Wallace, etc. That's a very athletic team regardless if they don't have Iguodala. They cleaned the glass at a pretty good percentage too, so they weren't trying to actively outlet it and run.

I think LB would be a great coach here and make the team way better. I just have my doubts about him fitting in with the "defend to run" philosophy. He seems to play the "defend to slug it out" philosophy.

I'm not sure CHA really has the guys to run. I checked Gerald Wallace's (their best rebounder) trigger rates pre-Brown and they were always low. Felton's were high, and they remained high, he just doesn't grab a ton of rebounds. Unfortunately, the stats don't go back to 2000-01, I seem to remember Mutombo outletting to Iverson to start the break pretty regularly, in fact, I think that was a big reason LB wanted him, because of the outlets Dikembe was throwing to AI in that All Star game.

From what I recall, LB's philosophy was that Snow handled half-court but AI was the transition PG. They had a point of emphasis of getting the ball to AI in the open floor as much as possible.

Now, I'd say that because Mutombo was so methodical, that limited their breaks. They ran more with Theo at C, especially when McKie was the 3.

tk76 reply to rswknight on Apr 27 at 22:27

Never heard it broken down that way- but makes sense. Are there other teams with a separate "transition PG?" Lebron? Roy? JJ?

Portland never runs. LBJ's percentage is way below Iguodala's. There's really no non-pg who does what Iguodala does.

tk76 reply to Brian on Apr 27 at 22:52

I was referring to the Snow and AI 1/2court and transition PG roles...

But as for Iguodala being a coast to coast play reminds me a bit of what Barkley used to do in his youth. Also, If Jrue sets his mind to rebounding he could similarly turn rebounds into fast breaks (if LB does not put the shackles on him ;)

That's who Dala always reminds me of when he does it, except w/o the Freight Train factor :-)

I don't think so. LeBron would be the closest, but he runs the team most of the time anyway.

The issue becomes that on most teams, the fastest player who you also could trust to manage the break consistently would ALREADY be the PG.

But to answer your question, yes, I'd love to have him as a coach, and only a coach. Or as the figurehead who tells Snider/Luukko how much money they're going to spend, but doesn't make personnel decisions. The only thing I don't want him doing is player personnel. Probably zero chance of that happening though.

johnrosz on Apr 27 at 17:54

If it's really between Stefanski and LB as Tom seems to think it is, isn't it a no brainer from a fans standpoint? Anything is an upgrade over Ed, especially a guy with the credentials of Larry. In Eds tenure here, he has done nothing to prove hes a competent basketball mind. If its LB or bust, I'm on board, sign me up.

deepsixersuede on Apr 27 at 18:30

I could see him reaching for Whiteside in the draft. And going after J.Richardson for a package of expirings anda young player.

Richardson is an expiring as well, I don't see LB being particularly interested. Didn't he trade him from CHA to PHO?

JohnEMagee on Apr 27 at 18:33


I was looking forward to the off season too

Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 19:02

E-mailed Peter Luukko and asked if "you and Ed Snider plan to interview Larry Brown?"

His response: "We have not asked for permission to talk to him."

JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 19:27

Besides, Larry Brown doesn't interview - Larry Brown says give me what i want (and i'll go away in 3-5 years)"

Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 19:03

Did you see Jordan interviewed at Rutgers today?

Statman reply to Tom Moore on Apr 27 at 21:42

Tom, have you gotten any comments from Jordan about his firing by the Sixers? I haven't heard him make any comments one way or the other.

Tom Moore reply to Statman on Apr 28 at 9:56

Nope. Jordan has a different cell number, so nobody has been able to reach him.


"If you want to look at a way to make the playoffs in the East, regardless of cost, and regardless of future falloff, the Bobcats are your blueprint. Most notable amongst the necessary requirements is to hire Larry Brown. But that's all they're getting, and the cost (in the long run) will be pretty dear. "

sfw reply to tk76 on Apr 28 at 8:30

Great piece of writing. That's what you get with LB.

Good article. I do not know about the rest of ya'll, but as a season ticket holder, I actually am enjoying this off season more than last year. Why, we knew we were not going all the way and we now are in the lottery for possibly a key player.

Change is certainly better than the status quo. Even if it does not get us any closer to being a contender, at least it will be interesting if LB comes to town.

JohnEMagee reply to DeanH on Apr 28 at 11:29

I was enjoying the concept a bit more until 'larry brown, team president' was uttered

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