Larry loved A.I. with Sixers, but . . .

. . .could have been better role model, Brown tells mag

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Sixers' Andre Iguodala (left) and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins swap jerseys before game with Detroit.

Former 76ers coach Larry Brown talks in the new Philadelphia magazine about his problems with Allen Iverson and why he refuses to return as the head coach of the Sixers.

Brown acknowledged dealing with problematic players such as Iverson and Stephon Marbury, but told the magazine there was always a mutual love for each other, though it was hard to detect.

"I loved [Iverson] as much as anyone, but the other stuff . . . doing the right thing . . . he'll drive you insane," Brown says in the February issue. "I told Allen that Tiger Woods will have a greater effect on kids than Jesus. Think about Tiger. Think about Michael Jordan. Kids flock to them. He missed an unbelievable chance to affect kids positively. Used to drive me nuts. He never understood what I was trying to say."

Speaking about coaching the Sixers, Brown says, "I could never stab Mo [Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks] in the back like that."

He also says: "I still want to coach. I don't want to coach here. I don't want it to end the way it did in New York. I don't wish that on anybody."

Brown accuses the New York Knicks of having "spies throughout the arena" during his lone season, 2005-06, when he coached the Knicks to a 23-59 record.

"Imagine when you get to work, they don't talk to you," Brown says. "They had security people standing close to me in press conferences, and spies throughout the arena."

Aside from Brown's issues with the Knicks, Cheeks was equally supportive and respectful toward Brown and the help he has given as the Sixers' executive vice president.

"I respect Larry Brown to the fullest," Cheeks said. "Every day I sit and talk to him about everything. I try to use his knowledge of the game as much as I can.

"He's a basketball coach and has been a basketball coach all of his life. He has a wealth of knowledge that's never going to go away, so to have someone like that around, I might as well use it to my advantage and realize the importance of having him around."

 

Spectrum memories

While Maurice Cheeks has a sensitive spot for the Wachovia Spectrum, having played his first professional game and most of his NBA career there, he understands the idea of changing for the better.

While Maurice Cheeks has a sensitive spot for the Wachovia Spectrum, having played his first professional game and most of his NBA career there, he understands the idea of changing for the better.

"I had fond memories in the Spectrum," Cheeks said. "Whatever they decide to with it is fine.

"It was good while we played in there, many, many, many years ago . . . but you know things move and things change."

 

Phils' hoops

The Phillies continued their Winter Tour last night as National League MVP Jimmy Rollins, outfielder Shane Victorino and lefthander J.C. Romero attended the game and showed off their basketball skills at halftime.

The Phillies continued their Winter Tour last night as National League MVP Jimmy Rollins, outfielder Shane Victorino and lefthander J.C. Romero attended the game and showed off their basketball skills at halftime.

"My jumper was OK tonight, but I think my swing is a lot better," said Rollins, who also swapped jerseys with Andre Iguodala at the beginning of the game. *