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 Thursday, September 7
Time to end Iverson-Brown spat
By Mitch Lawrence
Special to

 NEW YORK -- Any way you look at it, Allen Iverson has had a wildly successful summer. He hasn't been read his Miranda rights once, or been caught with any substances that would bring further embarrassment to the NBA.
Allen Iverson
Iverson's abilities on the court are seldom questioned, but off of it...

Nor has he been late to a single pick-up game.

Iverson's been so quiet, it's as if David Stern air-brushed him right off the planet.

So why is Larry Brown still killing Iverson? Before the Dream Team left Honolulu to pick up its gold medal in Sydney, there was Brown, an assistant on Rudy Tomjanovich's coaching staff, again going off on his Sixer star.

"It's irreconcilable if he doesn't show up to practice," Brown said. "I'll lose my whole team."

Just what we want to hear on Labor Day.

Enough, Lar. Please. We're beggin' ya. Can you stop obsessing about Iverson? Give Dennis Miller a juicy topic and he doesn't even rant this much.

May we offer one suggestion? Stop... Talking... About... Allen... Iverson.

It's really painful to keep hearing Brown kvetch and moan, especially when he could have gotten away from Iverson, once and for all. Last spring, Brown re-upped with the Sixers, for about $6 million per season. Team prez Pat Croce overpaid his coach, just as he had overpaid Iverson, to try to make this marriage of (in)convenience work. They might hate each other, the theory went, but at least financially they'll be happy.

But Brown still could have left when North Carolina came calling. It's the one job he has always coveted and it was wide open, after Roy Williams stunned the entire Carolina community by saying no thanks. Finally, Brown had the ultimate answer to The Answer.

But he turned Carolina down, amid rumors that his wife isn't wild about Chapel Hill. A crony offered another theory as to why Brown had chosen to continue to put up with Iverson.

"Larry's only happy when he's miserable," said the person, who happens to be a member of the tight-knit family of ex-Carolina players. "If he had gone to Chapel Hill, there'd be nothing to be miserable about."

Misery loves company and Brown should have plenty this fall. Iverson isn't going anywhere.

Over the summer, it didn't look that way. Twice, the Sixers nearly dealt their No.1 attraction to the Pistons. In one proposal, Matt Geiger and Iverson would have gone to Detroit. Jerry Stackhouse, Jerome Williams and Glen Rice would have ended up in Philly. And Christian Laettner would have made out the best of all by joining up with the Lakers.


Cap-wise, the deal worked. One person with direct knowledge of the talks said the deal was done, but at the last minute Geiger refused to waive his 15 percent trade-kicker clause, killing the move.

Unfortunately for Brown, the Pistons don't have Laettner around anymore, or any other big-salary player, to swap for Iverson. What's worse, Detroit is about the only team willing to take a gamble on him. When you lose Grant Hill and have nothing to offer your fans, you can shrug off all of Iverson's baggage. Not that Brown has, of course.

"Larry wants him out of there so bad, it's possible he keeps adding salt to the wound, just to get the kid to demand a trade," said one league exec after hearing of Brown's latest rant. "Maybe Larry knows he can't win a title with him."

Whatever the reason, Brown needs to stop talking about Allen Iverson. Until he shows up late for the first day of double sessions.

Rim Shots I
  • The Knicks and Heat both love the fact that the Pacers have dealt off board monster Dale Davis. Davis was the difference in the Pacers' Eastern Conference win over the Knicks, pulling down 16 rebounds per game in four of the six contests, including the Game 6 series clincher in the Garden. "Jermaine O'Neal is a more talented Marcus Camby," Isiah Thomas told his Pacer people. The laughs you hear are coming from the Garden, where Camby, once seen as Knicks' X-factor, is now known as "No Factor."

  • Speaking of NY, Garden boss Dave Checketts and Co. are busy looking for a third team to revive the Patrick Ewing-Vin Baker trade. Although there were reports about Washington getting involved, the Knicks don't want underachieving Juwan Howard and his $57 million contract, nor does Michael Jordan want to give Ewing a two-year extension. Take it to the bank that Ewing also doesn't want to be in a losing situation, playing for a college coach (Leonard Hamilton).

  • Tim Hardaway is demanding $10 million per from the Heat in a new multi-year deal. But Pat Riley and everyone else in the organization seriously doubt whether Hardaway can even make it through one more season. They know that his one knee is now a bone-on-bone situation and will only get worse. Hardaway's only leverage is that the Heat desperately needs a point guard.

  • What's Jerry West up to? The former Laker VP now is a team consultant, but don't look for him to be giving Mitch Kupchak any pointers. "Jerry just wants to get away from the whole deal," said one buddy. "He has no plans to be around."

  • Detroit's new GM Joe Dumars is blaming Knicks GM Scott Layden for the Ewing-Baker four-way deal falling through, claiming Layden was guilty of trying to pressure the Pistons into doing it. Joe should just say it was an awful deal for Detroit, who would have been serving merely as brokers for the Knicks, Lakers and Sonics.

    Dale Davis

  • Let's see, Portland trades three reserves (Brian Grant, Jermaine O'Neal and Joe Kleine) for two starters (Shawn Kemp and Dale Davis). Sounds like Blazers exec Bob Whitsitt had a pretty good summer. Davis could be even more valuable than Kemp if the Blazers have to play the Lakers in the playoffs again. "Shaq has trouble playing smaller guys who are very strong," said one scout. "It took Larry Bird two games to figure it out, but guys like Dale Davis give Shaq trouble." But first, Mike Dunleavy has to figure out who's getting minutes, something that's always been problematic.

  • The Nets don't have an inside presence at either end of the floor, but that's not Byron Scott's biggest challenge as first-time NBA head coach. He has to get Stephon Marbury thinking less about scoring and his own stats, and more about winning and getting the ball to other people, such as Keith Van Horn. "So far, no one has been able to get through to Stephon," said one Nets official."

  • Perhaps you missed it: Ex-Magic/Net Rony Seikaly is playing with Barcelona for $2 mil. Hope they gave him a physical before agreeing to the pricetag. Because of bad ankles, Seikaly hasn't played a full season since 1996-97.

    Mitch Lawrence, who covers the NBA for the New York Daily News, writes a regular NBA column for


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