Friday, December 02, 2005
Cheers Or Jeers? Larry Brown Comes Back To The Palace
To boo or not to boo --
that is the question
I'm usually not one to care what kind of response players or coaches receive from the fans when they're in town. Typically, whatever happens only lasts for a few seconds anyway, and it's forgotten by the time the game starts.
But when Larry Brown is introduced this evening at the Palace as the head coach of the New York Knicks, I am indeed very curious as to how the Pistons faithful will respond.
On the one hand, LB wore out his welcome, I believe, which says a lot more about him than the Detroit fans, considering he won a championship and came minutes away from winning another. Normally when you do that, the folks here lengthen the red carpet and anoint you. The fact that Brown could accomplish nearly back-to-back titles and still be told "good riddance" is an indictment of the antics he pulled. So that's the case for a cascade of boos to rain down on him tonight.
The other side says, hey, the guy DID bring us to the promised land, so cut him some slack. After all, we all knew what we were getting when the Pistons hired Brown in 2003. So there's the case for a mostly warm reception.
My gut tells me there will be more cheers than boos -- at the Palace. However, something else also tells me that there are people who will actually boo Brown from their living room sofa. But maybe the amount of boos at the Palace will be dependent upon the amount of booze the denizens have consumed.
The reaction, though, is sure to be mixed because while Detroiters love a winner as much as the next city's fans, they also appreciate loyalty and commitment. We're a rather insecure bunch here, and when we get the feeling that someone doesn't really want to be here, we don't like that, and aren't shy to let them know. Pudge Rodriguez, for example, is hemorrhaging supporters because he doesn't give them that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Even before Brown's name is blared by Mason over the P.A. system, the reaction is sure to start. It will start, frankly, the moment Brown steps onto the court. It will continue to simmer and cause a murmur until the formal introductions are made. Then, and only then, will we find out what the "official" reaction will be.
By the way, they ARE playing a game tonight, too, aren't they?