Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
8/06/2004
 
D.C. Back with L.B.
It has to have been obvious since Larry Brown left Philly. You could see, despite all of the Pistons success, the coach getting the shakes from withdrawal. Now everything in the universe seems right again.

Larry Brown has been reunited with his favorite player, Derrick Coleman.

I mean who doesn't love a 6-10, 270-lb. forward who has topped .450 from the field once since 1992-93. When looking at a player's career stats, it's usually fairly obvious which season was shortened by strike. But if you're looking at DC and you don't know it was 1998-99, you'd never be able to figure it out. He rarely plays 50 games in a season. He's also scored in double figures just once in the last four years.

So why not trade for him, and oh, yeah, let's get a guaranteed season out of Amal McCaskill while we're at it. Even though he has as much chance at helping Detroit defend its title as you or I or Darko does.

Our Olympic coach has long had a fascination with Coleman. During his first stint with the Sixers, then-President Pat Croce got so fed up with Coleman's antics that he proclaimed that DC would never play for Philly as long as he was in charge. Unfortunately for Sixers fans, Croce left two years later. About 20 seconds later, the Round Mound of Frown was back in town.

When Brown left town last year, Sixer fans took solace in the fact that Coleman would soon follow. It's surprising it took as long as it did. It's also somewhat surprising DC didn't 'somehow' make his way onto the Olympic squad.

Brown got his man back and all it cost him was the 2002-03 Sixth Man of the Year, Corliss Williamson, and McCaskill - or $2 million, take your pick. That's roughly how much McCaskill is slated to make in the first - and guaranteed - year of a three-year deal. He was a free agent and for salary cap purposes Williamson for Coleman didn't work. So, Philly re-signed him according to league rules. At least three years, with at least one guaranteed season.

Now Brown gets to do to the Pistons what he did to the Sixers. Make them old. Somehow labeled a teacher of the game, Brown disdains young players. I dare anyone to name a player, other than A.I., who got his career going in Philly under Brown. Granted, Jerry Stackhouse, Larry Hughes, and Tim Thomas were the best he was given. But none was given more than a year to prove his worth. And all have started for several teams.

With DC in town, Brown now has a cast of underachievers in the frontcourt to ensure that Darko never becomes anything. Learn by example, rookie. Watch DC, Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace show you how it's done. Even with the performance Wallace had last year for Detroit, he's still got the malcontent label across his forehead - one of the few places actually not occupied by body art.

The World Champs are now considerably older than they were a year ago, and not necessarily better. Just the way Brown likes it. At least he got Detroit a title.



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