Monday, April 26, 2010

Sources say 76s waiting for Brown

According to multiple sources, the 76ers will almost certainly contact coach Larry Brown after the Charlotte Bobcats are eliminated from the playoffs.

The Sixers will likely discuss their coaching vacancy with Brown, who this season led the Bobcats to their first-ever playoff appearance, but it's possible that the Sixers also could discuss a front-office position, according to the same sources.

Although Ed Stefanski is still serving as the Sixers' president and general manager, his position is not secure.

The Bobcats host the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of their first-round series on Monday night. Charlotte trails the best-of-seven series by three games to none.

For various reasons, the Sixers' coaching search has crawled off the starting line, but with the first round of the NBA playoffs nearing completion, and, more specifically, with Charlotte only one game from elimination, the next step in the Sixers' off-season process appears only hours away.

Stefanski fired coach Eddie Jordan on April 15, less than 24 hours after the Sixers' final game of the season.

Stefanski is at the helm of this coaching search - as he was last summer when he made the ill-fated decision to hire Jordan - although with Stefanski's own job not guaranteed, there is some concern as to whether his authority over the search remains at its previous levels.

In the 10 days since Jordan's firing, the organization has been in the preliminary stages of the coaching search, slowed because many likely candidates are still involved in the playoffs, with several serving as assistant coaches on contending teams.

Brown, who previously coached the Sixers from 1997 to 2003, has stated that he has no intention to coach anywhere but with Charlotte, which is now owned by Michael Jordan. The Chicago Bulls legend personally recruited Brown to the Bobcats' sideline before the 2008-09 season.

But Brown's family - wife Shelly; son A.J., 15; and daughter Madison, soon to be 13 - has remained in the Philadelphia area ever since Brown left the Sixers after the 2002-03 season.

"I love my team," Brown said when reached on April 13. "I love coaching. I'm [almost] 70 years old. I want to coach for Michael Jordan. That's where I'm at. I'm happy here. It's no fun being away from my family and Shelly. That's always going to be the case. But I love what I'm doing."

It has been reported that Jordan has given Brown permission to return home if the position involves authority over basketball decisions, something Brown does not have in Charlotte.

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