Larry Brown has done this before, with - among others - John Calipari and Alvin Gentry. He even managed to find a spot for Calipari on his 76ers staff. Now, the former Sixers coach and current Detroit Pistons coach already has reached out to Randy Ayers.
Brown has invited the fired Sixers coach to spend time with the Pistons after the NBA All-Star break, albeit on a volunteer basis. Brown already has a crowded staff, including former Sixers aides Mike Woodson, Dave Hanners, Herb Brown and John Kuester.
"I was crushed," Brown said when he learned that Ayers - his assistant for six seasons with the Sixers - had been dismissed after 52 games. "I was proud of him when he got the opportunity. I hate to see it happen.
"I spoke to Randy and Billy [Sixers president/general manager Billy King on Monday], and there was no sign of this," Brown said. "But, hey, their team doesn't have a winning record, and if you look at our league now, it's just the nature of our profession. That's something we all understand when we take a job. You are going to be judged on your wins and losses. That's just the way it is."
Woodson, who spent the previous two seasons as a Sixers assistant, had two interviews each in the offseason for head-coaching jobs with the Sixers, Toronto and Milwaukee.
"Our league is a fraternity," Woodson said. "Yeah, we are hired to be fired, but, boy, you hate to see it happen to someone you are so close to, and worked with. But Randy is tough. He will fight back."