on Sports
Larry Brown


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman


This song used to whistle through Philly:
    Sad, sad Larrrry-o-Brown
    The saddest guy in the whole darn town
    Has to deal with ‘ol A.I.
    Why it jest makes ya wanna go and cry

Detroit Piston coach Larry Brown, besides being a vagabond of Lewis and Clark proportions, is one sad-eyed fellow.

His face is sadder than a basset hound down to his last kibble.
His eyes makes Abe Vigoda’s “Fish” look positively Richard Simmonsy.
One look at Larry Brown and you’ll head to Emmett Kelly for cheer.
It’s enough to make Bjork wring the neck of her swan dress.

Larry Brown has told as many basketball teams “Take this job and stuff it” as his players have actually stuffed it. Larry doesn’t stay anywhere long before his eyes get misty and homesick. When you’ve coached fourteen different teams in 31 years your eyes will get misty just trying to figure out where home is.

Larry has Mayflower Movers number on speed dial.

Larry Brown

Larry Brown demands hustle and unselfish play from his ballplayers. He’s always looking for the perfect coaching opportunity, the team ready to break through, the pot that’s right for a few added ingredients. That’s why, when he had his most talented guard ever – Allen Iverson – who also turned out to be his biggest problem child, his frustrations mounted like never before -- so close and yet so much gnashing of teeth.   

That’s why you wonder why Mr. Sad Eyes would take on another problem child in Rasheed “Where’s My Technical” Wallace. Brown already had a good Wallace (Ben) on the Piston team willing to jump the moon. Larry needs to keep his sad eyes focused for just like in the Scottish days of Braveheart, you can have too many Wallaces. You’ll think everything is going fine and then all of a sudden those Wallaces are mooning the British Army. Before you know it, as Gromit would say, one of them is wearing the wrong trousers. And having a surplus of Wallaces can get confusing – just ask the George’s (the comic and the Governor). Too many Wallaces is as bad – and Gary Coleman and Sherman Helmsley will attest to this – as having too many Willises.

But if anybody can make the Wallaces play nice together and make the Pistons gel as a team, Sad Eyes would be the one. If anyone can keep the Sheed out of the tattoo parlor long enough to sniff a division title, Brown’s the guy. Larry keeps proving it’s possible to perpetually mourn and motivate at the same time. As much as I hated it when Larry drove Kansas to the NCAA title using the Manning Mobile I’d like to see him top off the NBA with the Wallace Wagon.

Because, just once, I’d like to see Larry’s eyes light up. I want to see his upper whites, just a peek.

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