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June 17, 2015

Larry Brown wants A.I. in Sixers' front office

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Larry Brown hasn't been in the Sixers organization for 12 years, but that hasn't stopped him from discussing his former team.

Brown, who coached Philly to its last NBA Finals appearance led by Allen Iverson in 2001, wants his former superstar to have a position in the team's front office. 

In an interview with Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the current SMU head coach said he wishes there was some role in management for Iverson: 

"I just wish there was some way that he could be involved. Just teach him about the organization and let him figure it out, figure out how he can help. He can certainly judge talent. He certainly has people's respect. Kids will listen to anything he said. He's certainly bright as hell.
"Just teach him how to be involved with the NBA, whatever level you want, but I think ultimately I'd like to see him get into management. I think he'd be a huge asset."  []

Sielski notes that Brown has pushed the team for month's to hire Iverson as assistant general manager. While Brown's comments are an endorsement of his former player and not a knock on the Sixers, the coach has skewered the team's plans of tanking and building through the draft in past interviews. 

Brown said he "hated" the team's rebuilding plan back in October 2014, criticizing what he perceived as too much reliance on analytics and on the strategy of being "bad on purpose."

This prompted Sixers' CEO Scott O'Neil to fire back at him, making a jab at his tenure at SMU and implying Brown wasn't aware of how the current league market worked. 

Iverson has expressed interest in a management position, saying he "definitely" would want to be apart of the team's decision-making process during a live broadcast in March. 

The former star has appeared for the team on several occasions since his retirement from professional basketball in 2013. The team held a ceremony to retire his number in March 2014, where a recorded statement from Brown celebrating his career was played.