After learning from my colleague, Sam Amick, that a Brad Miller-Gerald Wallace trade was a non-starter partly because Charlotte coach Larry Brown is not a fan of the Kings' starting center, I was reminded of my conversation with Brown while he was trying to become involved in the post-Eric Musselman coaching search two summers ago. Humiliated by the Knicks situation, eager to redeem himself, and not finding much interest on the NBA market, he was pushing hard to get an interview with Geoff Petrie. While we were talking about the situation, Brown, who had rejoined the 76ers as a personnel consultant, began gushing about a gangly 7-foot center from Washington - Spencer Hawes - who had been in Philadelphia hours earlier for a predraft workout. Brown went on and on about Hawes' footwork and low post skills, and thought that with quality coaching, he would become an outstanding NBA center.
All of which is another reason Geoff Petrie at least should have invited Brown to Sacramento for an interview. The Maloofs love the big names and dynamic personalities, though whether they would have met Brown's financial demands remains unclear. Still, you have to wonder. How much further along would the Kings' rebuilding process be with Brown tutoring Hawes, Jason Thompson, Donte Greene, Bobby Brown, Beno Udrih and John Salmons? And while Brown might not be a Miller fan, he would have been a big fan of Miller's unselfishness and passing abilities. (Remember Rik Smits).
Is that you, Vlade?.
During my conversation with Vlade Divac the other evening, I teased him about his English. It's slipping, understandably. After retiring from the NBA in 2005, the former Kings center spent two years in Madrid before moving last September to his native Serbia, which afforded him fewer opportunities to practice his second language. As we were chatting, he paused often and occasionally struggled for words. "It comes back quickly," said Divac, who spoke absolutely no English when he was drafted by the Lakers in 1989. "A couple days (in America). That's all it would take. It's easier (laugh) for my kids."