I know this is jumping the gun a bit, with the press conference coming tomorrow morning and all, but Ridiculous Upside has learned that former NBA player Dee Brown will be the first coach of the Springfield Armor. When I read the team's press release, with its mentions of candidates who have made an impact on basketball in Massachusetts and who have NBA playing or coaching experience, I mainly thought of Bob MacKinnon, who doesn't fulfill the first requirement but who used to coach the New Jersey Nets, who are affiliated with the Armor. I also thought of Bill Bayno, who doesn't have NBA experience but who was an assistant at the University of Massachusetts under John Calipari before becoming the head man at UNLV.
Dee Brown, though, fulfills both of those requirements and is an interesting choice for several reasons. First is his connection to Massachusetts - he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1990 and played for them for seven and a half seasons. Hiring someone like Brown seems like a better way to attract local fans than, say, hiring your NBA affiliate's general manager's kid (not that we at RU don't wish Austin Ainge the very best - prove us wrong, big guy!). Second, Brown does have some head coaching experience, in the WNBA. He coached the Orlando Miracle in 2002 (they're now the Connecticut Sun), right after he retired, and he coached the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2005. Since then he's appeared on, and won, ESPN's "Dream Job" reality show and maintained a blog for Hoops Hype.
All of this, I'm sure, will be highlighted in tomorrow's press conference. The question is, what kind of coach will Brown be? I, uh...I don't really know. The Orlando Miracle finished with a .500 record under Brown, whereas the Silver Stars did considerably worse (9-25). Both teams, though, finished middle of the pack in pace (7th out of 13 for San Antonio, 7th out of 16 in Orlando), and at the bottom of the league in defense. I have no idea if this was personnel-based or related to Brown's style, but it's worth noting regardless. Congratulations to Coach Brown and to the Springfield Armor.