Larry Brown quotes

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. -- Excerpts from comments made by Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown at Friday's press conference.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed, being in this building and looking at the pictures of who's already in the Hall of Fame, and then getting in here with Magic, Kay Yow, Coach Olsen, Petrovic, I'm overwhelmed. When I was a little boy, the greatest day of my life was to go to Madison Square Garden and watch the Globetrotters play the College All-Stars. To be getting in here with them is truly special to me, because they meant so much to our game. It's really neat for me to have an opportunity to be with them when they're recognized. And then for Magic, when you talk about playing the game the right way which is something I've always tried to do, I don't think any player who's ever played has done it as consistently as him. I'm hopeful as a coach that I can try to help our game and make our players understand what an unbelievable sport we have if you play it the right way. They can really learn a lot from people just like him. Like Kay [Yow] said, I'm kind of overwhelmed by this whole experience and I really appreciate this opportunity."

On what his contribution to the game has been:

"I just think I've been so fortunate, I had such an unbelievable background, in terms of playing with players, playing for unbelievable coaches, having great assistants. I just hope I would be considered somebody who respected the game and taught the game. I'd love for someone to consider me a pretty good teacher. I don't think you get here without a lot of people helping, but I hope they consider me a pretty good teacher."

On the impact of New York City basketball and the ABA on his career:

"When I was growing up, City basketball was pretty special. You consider Red Holzman and Nat Holman, Coach McGuire recruited my mother and I went to North Carolina, and that seemed to me the start of everything. I was exposed to Coach McGuire and what he meant and then to Coach Smith. New York basketball was special, going to the Garden was special for me. And then giving me a chance to play after college, the ABA afforded me that. I was drafted in the NBA, they came to see me and said I was too small, that I couldn't guard Jerry West or Oscar Robertson or John Havlicek. I told them the last I looked they were averaging 30 a game, I didn't think anybody was guarding them! But I got to play in the ABA and got my coaching start there. I ‘ve got a lot to be thankful for in regard to New York City and that league.

On the personal impact of being inducted

"I don't want to stop doing what I'm doing. It might not be on this level. I'm hopeful that if I do stop in Philly it will be my choice. I hope to continue to be part of this game and help anyway I can. The neatest thing about this is that people that have meant a lot to me get to see this."

On whether his current team will respect him more after this award

"I never thought about it, but I doubt it. I know one thing, if they're smart at all they understand they're a big part of me being here."

On what's left to accomplish in his career:

"I want to get better, and want to help make my players better. Everybody talks about an NBA championship, obviously that's a quest that I'll be after, I owe it to my players and to Philadelphia to try to do that, it's one of the main reasons I coach. I want to help the game, and I think after this summer, watching what went on in Indianapolis, everybody in our sport in this country is probably thinking the way I'm thinking now."

Can you imagine coaching high school in the future?

"You know, I want to work with young people and I think that's where real coaching goes on, and needs to get better. I wouldn't mind. But again I still have some goals with Philadelphia and the NBA, and hopefully that'll come later on."

On getting the call from the Hall of Fame

"To be honest with you, I can't imagine being in this Hall with the people who proceeded me and the people I'm going in with. I got into coaching because it's the only thing I could do and I loved the game, and I never even anticipated this happening. When they told me, like they said, you're humbled, you're flattered, you're in a state of shock, all those things."

On today's NBA players

"I think we have unbelievable kids in our league. We have so many young talented kids that really want to be like Mike, be like Magic, be like Larry, we've got to figure out a way to show them that. I think when Magic and Larry and then Michael came into the league, they were a lot better prepared to handle all this. I think with what's gone on recently with our teams, I think everyone's going to be committed to make people understand we can do better, we can have an impact on young people and teach them the right way to play and the right way to act."

"I've got a kid that I coach, everywhere I go he has such an unbelievable following, so many people love him, that I think he has to be made aware that he could do even more than he's doing to help our game and help our sport, help young people grow up and make things of themselves. There's a lot of young kids in our league just like that, hopefully they'll understand that."

On picking Dean Smith to introduce him

"That was a no-brainer. When you consider what Coach Smith has meant to the game and to everybody that he's ever touched, I'm just one of a fortunate group."

On getting his start in coaching

"When I got into coaching, it was because of the people who taught me, that was my only agenda. I was given the opportunity to coach because I was the freshman coach. You not only taught kids to respect the game and fundamentals, if you were fortunate enough to be freshman coach you learned to coach and teach. Most people who were going into the profession then were like me, they did it because they loved it. Now a lot of people are getting into it because of the money and the attention, so the kids suffer. You go to a summer camp, when I was growing up it used to be about teaching and learning. Now all they do is play games. High school coaches have become less and less important, AAU coaches have become more dominant. Kids are coming out early, guys don't share ideas, there are so many things that are happening, I think we need to get back to showing our kids what this game is about."

On his record as freshman coach at UNC

"We lost one game my first year and got cheated. That's the truth! I think we were like 15-1. My second year, that was Charles Scott's first year when Coach integrated the team. I think we might have lost 3 games that year."

On how long he will keep coaching

"When I look in the mirror I figure I should have stopped about 5 years ago. When I just look out here and know what's inside me, I don't anticipate stopping. Again, I don't know if it will be on this level. If I stop I hope it's because I felt it was time and not because somebody told me to. I want to continue to do this as long as it doesn't interfere with my family and my kids growing up."


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