The Boston Celtics had already traded for Ray Allen and were on the verge of acquiring Kevin Garnett, yet coach Doc Rivers had one more coup in mind. This summer he almost hired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown to join the Celtics as his lead assistant, SI.com has learned.
"The way we left it, I told Doc I was 90 percent sure I was coming," says Brown. But Brown changed his mind after discussing the Boston offer with 76ers owner Ed Snider, who convinced Brown to remain as executive VP in charge of basketball.
When Brown said no to Rivers in July -- shortly before the blockbuster trade that delivered Garnett to Boston -- the Celtics filled the position by signing Tom Thibodeaux, the highly-regarded longtime assistant to Jeff Van Gundy.