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May 23, 2005

Larry Brown


Q. Can you make a comment about Mo (Cheeks) getting the Philly job.

LARRY BROWN: You know, I'm thrilled for Mo. I'm disappointed for Jimmy. I think he's a great coach. It's just the nature of our profession; it seems like, but Mo has been really good to me. You know, I was disappointed when he left Portland under those circumstances, but you know, if they were going to make a change, I don't think they could have gotten anybody better for that franchise. He's loved in the city, he's loved by the players, and he's a very, very capable coach, and I'm hopeful that it will be good for him, and I hope Jimmy -- there's going to be some jobs open, so hopefully people will recognize Jimmy O'Brien's ability, as well.

Q. While you're on the topic of coaches, I don't know if you know, but Brian Hill got rehired by the Magic as the head coach, eight years after he had been released. Is that strange at all?

LARRY BROWN: Nothing is strange. You know, I got to coach against Brian when I was at Indiana and he brought them to the Finals, beat us in game 7. Shaq was phenomenal. So I don't think that's a bad thing. He's helped New Jersey. He's always been there and he's a very capable coach.

Q. How much growth have you seen in Dwyane Wade's game since the Olympics, looking at him live and on tape?

LARRY BROWN: Well, one thing, he was great in the Olympics. He's an unbelievable kid. I've known him for a while, I'm close to Tom Crean, but in the Olympics all we saw were zones and everybody ran back, so there were no fast breaks or open court opportunities. But every day in practice, I just was amazed at his ability and his toughness, his competitiveness. He could have won the MVP this year. I don't think I would have been surprised to be honest. You know, if Shaq would have won it or Duncan or with Steve, I don't think I would have had an issue with any of them, but I wouldn't have been surprised if he won. And then in the playoffs he's taken it to another level. It makes me feel good because you look at our league, there's a lot of great young kids, and he's one that's going to be special.

Q. Is there one part of his game where you've seen growth from last summer, any one part in particular where you've seen growth?

LARRY BROWN: Well, he had to play a lot of point for us, which wasn't in his best interest, but he took the challenge. There's nothing he can't do, I don't think; he's improved his outside shot, but he never settles. A lot of guys settle, but I think the greatest thing about him is he'll get every big rebound, he attacks the basket, gets to the free throw line, what's he shooting, over 50 percent in the playoffs, eight and a half assists, gets big rebounds. He's the real deal.

Q. What has stuck with Chauncey from what you want to see of him? What have you seen that's stuck with him that maybe he didn't do before you got here?

LARRY BROWN: Before I got here? Well, he beat us in Philly. I go way back with him because I was hoping he'd go to Kansas. You know, I tried to get involved in recruiting there. And when I was in Philly, we seriously thought about drafting him. We had that -- we had the second pick, and Keith Van Horn wanted to come, but we ended up moving a lot of contracts, or else we might have taken him. He's been through a lot. I think if you look at our team, Joe (Dumars) has gotten a lot of guys that have been through a lot, that he thought had great character and were great teammates. He probably epitomizes that. For a point guard to put up with me and grow, speaks volumes about him. Sometimes he's unselfish to a fault, but like all the guys that Joe has gotten, they're great teammates, and he's one everybody on our team looks up to and respects and understands the sacrifices he has to make to help us be better.

Q. Elden (Campbell) obviously had a long road getting traded in the middle of the season and coming back to you guys. Can you talk about what a benefit it is to have him as a fourth big option off the bench in the series.

LARRY BROWN: When we made that trade, we were hopeful we could get him back, like we got Lindsey (Hunter) back last year. We were hoping we would. Joe felt all along that this series might eventually happen, and we felt that you never have enough depth with big guys when you play against Shaq and now Alonzo. Even if he doesn't play, just being in your locker room and being around your team, he's really, really great. He helps me personally as a coach, giving me things to think about, just helped Darko, and we're going to need him. It's been hard for him. Fortunately he didn't move his family and has been able to be back in Detroit and they've stayed in school, so it's worked out.

Q. Obviously you go way back with Billy King. You also know Ed Snider (76ers Chairman) very well. Do you think it bothers them the type of turnover they've had in Philadelphia since you left and they haven't been able to get that stability? And does it hurt Billy's reputation to be on his fourth coach in his third year?

LARRY BROWN: I spoke to Billy -- you know, I knew this thing was coming, and it wasn't an easy thing for anybody. I spoke to Mr. Snider numerous times. I don't think it's been easy on anybody. Knowing Billy it's not easy to let a coach go. His relationship with Randy (Ayers) was pretty strong. I think it was hard for him to let Chris (Ford) go. He was excited about having Jimmy, but I don't think it ever gets easy. I just think they're trying to get it right, and my hope is that this is a special situation for Mo in Philly, and I'm hopeful people in the league will recognize the ability of Jimmy O'Brien. Look around our league and just think of all the changes that have been made, and I don't think you guys -- you guys are always surprised, and then when you think about it, you're never really surprised. That's the feeling that I have now when I see things like this happen.

Q. Miami has been going nine and ten players deep pretty much every game. You haven't gotten that much out of your bench yet. How important is it for this series for you to get some real contributions out of your deep guys?

LARRY BROWN: This bench thing is overrated. The only reason we haven't gotten a lot out of our bench is the coach hasn't played these guys. We have gotten a lot out of McDyess and Lindsey and Carlos (Arroyo) has given us a huge lift when he's come in in certain games. I don't enjoy not going deeper, but I look at Phoenix, they had three guys play over 50 minutes the other night. But we need to play more guys if the opportunity presents itself, if foul trouble or injury or the way the games go dictates it, we'll do it, but I'm convinced that Elden is probably going to play in this series. There's no doubt Lindsey is going to have to play because of Dwyane Wade. McDyess has been like a starter, and hopefully the match-ups are good enough for Carlos. I would suspect we'll go a little bit deeper. But if it doesn't present itself, you know, guys I take out get mad at me (laughter), so we'll just play it by ear.

End of FastScripts...

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