Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thanks Larry, but we're over you now

Thankfully, today's Detroit sports topic du jour has nothing to do with the Lions. Instead, most of the talk is about Larry Brown's return to the Palace tonight. Mitch Albom wrote some jokes about it in today's Detroit Free Press. The New York Times' Howard Beck says this return will be more conflicted for Brown than the seven visits he's made to his other former jobs. Chris McCosky tries to tell both sides of the story in the Detroit News.

Maybe the biggest question is whether or not the Detroit fans will boo Larry Brown or cheer him. And there are a lot of opinions on that subject. The News' Rob Parker implores the fans not to boo. Cheering would be the classy thing to do. EJ Smith says Brown deserves neither jeers or cheers. Both the Pistons and Brown got what they needed from the other. Yet Kevin Antcliff believes Brown jumped onto a championship train that was already rolling. Both Greg Eno and Terry Foster think there's a case to be made either way. (But Foster can't help reminding you that Brown is a perpetual liar.)

If I'd had a chance to boo or cheer during the summer, I'd have thrown tomatoes at Brown. I was mad that he was thinking about other jobs while the Pistons were trying to win another NBA championship. He had to go because he'd created too many hard feelings among the players and his bosses. Had Brown returned, the same questions and drama surrounding him would've been explosive.

I don't know how it is in other cities, but Detroit fans will turn on you in a second if you'd rather be somewhere else. I definitely feel that way. If you don't like it here, get the #@$% out! (Watch out, Dre Bly.) And that's why Brown will hear some boos tonight.

But tonight, I'm going to cheer. Not enthusiastically, but sincerely. The man deserves acknowledgement for coaching the Pistons to another championship. Brown's critics will point out that this team was already good when he arrived and maybe Rick Carlisle would've won had he been allowed to stay. We'll never know if that was the truth. It was the right marriage at the right time: A veteran coach looking for his first championship, and a team that needed that one final push to greatness.

As often happens in such relationships, however, the proteges surpassed their mentor. The Pistons came within five minutes of winning another NBA title, despite all of Brown's drama, which showed just how good that team is. Their current 11-2 record, with Flip Saunders and his new system, shows this team simply knows how to win. But a new voice was necessary to refresh what could've become stale.

Ultimately, I think both sides won. (But you wouldn't know it from looking at Brown, who seems perpetually miserable.) The Pistons got a championship and are in prime position to win another one. Brown got his money and is coaching his hometown team. Everyone be happy.

Don't get me wrong, though; I hope the Pistons stomp the Knicks by 40 points tonight.

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  • At December 02, 2005 3:39 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    Yeah, they both used each other a little... Joe D used LB to get the title and LB used Joe D for the same. Look, without him there would not have been a title. I would give him his standing ovation and then, like you said, cheer the hell against him in hopes the Pistons blow him out of the Palace!



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