Now that the Pistons have forced a Game 7 with an absolutely incredible four-game run that featured the two most efficient performances in Finals history – a four-turnover rout in Game 4 and a five-turnover performance in Game 6 – the spin doctors are left to predict next-season doom when dissing Brown.

Is there one piece of evidence that the Pistons are tuning out Brown? No. To the contrary, never have the Pistons seemed more in tune with their head coach, the former ABA point guard who is an NBA point guard's best friend and worst nightmare.

Chauncey Billups is the MVP of this series regardless of which team wins tonight. Billups is the reason there's a Game 7. He's the reason the Pistons have a shot at being regarded as great. Billups is a direct reflection of Brown. And Billups' 39-minute, zero-turnover performance Tuesday night says all you need to know about Brown's ability to reach, motivate and guide his team.

We're witnessing the most brilliant coaching effort in the history of the league. The Pistons should've folded after Game 5. Rasheed Wallace choked. His defensive blunder robbed Detroit of a third straight victory and control of the Finals. No one would've been surprised had the Pistons shown up at the SBC Center and been trounced by 25 points. No way you are supposed to recover from the kind of dagger Big Shot Rob tossed. Thanks to Brown's handling of Wallace's brain lock – Brown took the blame – the Pistons yanked the dagger from Wallace's chest and handed it back to 'Sheed in the final minutes of Game 6. 'Sheed spanked the Spurs with it.

Right now, Dumars and Davidson should be exhausting every avenue to retain Brown. Even if you think Brown has already made up his mind to leave, you make every attempt to keep him. You take Brown at his word. He says that if his health will allow, his goal is to coach the Pistons next season. Why not do everything to make that goal a reality? Why not tell Brown you'll give him six months to straighten out his health issues and he can return to the bench in January?

Make Brown an offer he can't refuse.

I bet Isiah Thomas will do it to get Brown, and I bet the Knicks will pay him Phil Jackson-type money. Brown is worth it. He's worth all the headaches. He's no different from Roger Clemens or Michael Jordan or John Elway or Halle Berry. You don't quibble over crumbs.

You bend the rules because Brown delivers. You bend the rules because Brown has performed at a level that has exceeded already-lofty expectations, and he's done it under unusual circumstances.

Think about it. Brown has undergone hip surgery, and he's currently dealing with a painful bladder problem that will send him to the Mayo Clinic. If Brown were an athlete playing through pain and injury, the media would build him into a superhero. Someone might go as far as to suggest that Brown's health problems could be a complication of working nonstop for two straight years. Remember, Brown went from NBA champion to Olympic head coach last summer. He served his country and baby-sat our millionaire brat-letes in Athens.

Continued...


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