SANDY: Oh. Are you sure?
That's right. But we never saw him even when he did come back.
AUNT EVA: Well,
he never was close to anyone....
On a Flying
Tigers cargo flight heading east from Los Angeles, Brown sat and cooed
assurance to his two black Labrador retrievers. If they could have talked, they
would have told Aunt Eva she was wrong. Larry Brown loved them, and both dogs
knew it. "Win or lose," he says, "they'd look at you the same way
staggered to a 3-12 start, and the New Jersey owners didn't look at him the way
the Labradors did.
job?" says owner Joe Taub. "Fifteen games into a four-year contract,
you think we were going to threaten his job?"
have to say it," says Brown. "They questioned my coaching."
on his arms, veins swelled on his forehead. "Sometimes, when I saw those
veins in the middle of games," says Nets forward Buck Williams, "I
thought it would be like that movie Scanners—that his head would explode and
his brains come out."
After that 3-12
beginning, his young team won 41 of the next 67 games, then followed with 49-33
his second year. But there was something about life with an NBA team on a swamp
off a freeway exit in North Jersey that was all wrong. Crowds were small and
silent, except for hecklers who sensed Brown's thin skin. No one seemed to
recognize him away from the arena. His wife loved attending Fordham University,
driving into New York City, seeing a show, visiting a museum or a gallery,
eating at a great restaurant and losing herself in a crowd. Her husband had
never felt more detached.
At least, thank
god, he had Buck.