Memphis assistant coach Larry Brown: ‘I think we can recruit anybody’
Hall of Famer Larry Brown addresses the media during his introductory press conference as Memphis basketball assistant coach.
Jason Munz, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Memphis basketball assistant coach Larry Brown contracted the delta variant of COVID-19 following the 2021 Nike EYBL Peach Jam Basketball Tournament last month. Brown disclosed the news during an appearance on the Jason and John Show on 92.9 FM ESPN Friday.
“Unfortunately I got sick, right after it was over, I got that delta variant, and I was kind of out for about 10 to 12 days, but I’m all good now and anxious to get back,” Brown said.
Brown, 80, is vaccinated and said he has made a full recovery.
The recent hire attended the event with coach Penny Hardaway. He said that his favorite part of traveling was being able to spend time with Hardaway. While at the tournament in Augusta, South Carolina, the two coaches saw recent Memphis signee Jalen Duren play.
Brown compared Duren to a young version of Shawn Kemp, citing his athleticism and size as two factors that remind him of the six-time NBA All-Star.
He added that what stands out about Duren is his attitude.
“He just seems like a great teammate who wants to get better, and those are the people that I think Penny is lookin to recruit, and those are the kind of kids I want to be associated with, you know having an open mind, want to come to practice every day want to get better, and I think that’s entirely what Jalen is about,” Brown said.
Brown said he had been on a Zoom call with Hardaway and Duren before as well and was impressed by his maturity. According to Brown, Duren turned down an offer of over a million dollars to play in the G League, as well as offers from other top basketball programs.
“When you’re able to compete against Miami and Kentucky for a kid, it tells you what they think of Penny, of his program and what he’s trying to build,” Brown said.
Brown said other factors that may have pushed Duren to college basketball over the G League.He would prefer young athletes to assimilate into a college environment that teaches them the importance of an education.
“I wish the NBA would realize that college basketball might be the greatest minor league system that we have … I really think they’re going to do away with this one-and-done because of this likeness. I’m not opposed to that … but a lot of times kids that make that decision really aren’t ready, and we don’t talk about those kids that fail. I think the system fails more than the kids fail,” Brown said.