Penny Hardaway hires NBA champion Mike Miller for Memphis staff; Larry Brown next?
Hardaway wants to hire Brown despite his administration's hesitation
A formal announcement is expected soon.
Miller, 38, made it clear in recent weeks that he wanted to enter the college coaching profession -- and he met with Hardaway for a second time Tuesday to finalize details. The 2006 NBA Sixth Man of the Year played 17 seasons in the NBA, including seven with the Memphis Grizzlies, and has made Memphis his permanent home since retiring after last season. He's also sponsored a prominent grassroots basketball program in Memphis for years that's been run by his cousin, Ernie Kuyper, and helped create relationships with prospects.
This development -- combined with the hiring of Memphis graduate and former Ole Miss assistant Tony Madlock -- means Hardaway has filled two assistant spots. So here's the new question: Is Larry Brown next?
Sources told CBS Sports early last month that Hardaway was already planning to be the next Memphis coach -- and that Larry Brown was among those he was considering for a spot on his staff. The Hall of Famer coached Hardaway with the Knicks and also has close friends in Memphis -- among them Tigers alumnus John Wilfong, whose son, Jonathan, played for Brown at SMU, and Van Weinberg, who owns a prominent clothing store (James Davis) near the Memphis campus. According to sources, Brown -- who is the only man in history to ever win a NCAA title and NBA championship -- has told people he wants to be on the Memphis staff and help Hardaway launch his college coaching career. But sources told CBS Sports that Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen is hesitant to allow it because of Brown's history of NCAA issues. Initially, sources said, Bowen suggested to Hardaway that the NCAA would not allow Memphis to hire Brown. But it should be noted that Brown's entire NCAA punishment has expired -- meaning there's technically nothing preventing Hardaway from hiring Brown other than the administration that hired Hardaway.
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