Larry Brown is very well-qualified for any accolade that recognizes a lifetime of coaching achievements.
He won a prestigious one Thursday, being named the recipient of the 2021 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Basketball Coaches Association.
The late Daly grew up in Kane, Pennsylvania, and had a successful stint as the head coach at Penn. He served as a Sixers assistant for four years. Daly later coached the “Bad Boy” Pistons and the “Dream Team” that won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
“I am honored to receive the Chuck Daly Lifetime Award for multiple reasons,” Brown said in a press release. “Chuck Daly was a great coach and a great person whose work and legacy are appropriately celebrated with this award. To be mentioned in the same conversation with the previous recipients is truly humbling. I want to thank all of the Coaches with whom I coached and those I coached against, so many of whom are great competitors and friends. And thanks to the players I had the good fortune to coach. I am very proud of what my teams accomplished. Lastly, I want to thank the NBA Coaches Association and the Selection Committee for this honor.”
Brown’s coaching résumé is stuffed with achievements. He’s the only coach to ever win an NCAA and NBA championship. While Brown hasn’t ever tended to spend much time in one place, he’s built a reputation for making his teams better than when he first arrived.
In the 2000-01 season, Brown led the Sixers to the NBA Finals and was named Coach of the Year. The franchise hasn’t advanced beyond the second round since.
Brown, 80, confirmed in an interview with Brian Martin for NBA.com that he's agreed to join Penny Hardaway’s coaching staff at Memphis.
“I wanted to get back to coaching; I’m not very good at being idle,” he told Martin. “Like I told you earlier, I’ve been so lucky to coach great players and have great coaches sit next to me and play for so many unbelievable coaches that I just feel like I want to share what I’ve been taught with young kids. I think a lot of people now are afraid to coach young kids. But I think young people want that, as long as they trust you. So, I’m hopeful this thing happens. I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”
Brown’s last stop in college basketball was SMU, where he coached Sixers guard Shake Milton.