A rejuvenated Larry Brown, who was out of coaching the past two seasons, will open Charlotte Bobcats training camp on Tuesday at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
"I missed it. I'm glad I'm back," said the 68-year-old Hall of Famer, who was hired by the Bobcats on April 29.
"I don't know if I missed the games. I missed being on the court teaching and being around the players and other coaches," added Brown, who was fired after directing the New York Knicks to a 23-59 record in 2005-06. "It's something that has been such a big part of my life. The thing you noticed when you are away from it is how special the opportunity is to be a coach on any level. That was obvious to me."
Brown, who is guest of honor at tonight's Bert Nash fundraiser "An Evening With Larry Brown and Friends," said he'd be well equipped to return to coaching next week.
He spent the past two years watching practices of college and NBA teams all over the country, including practices of his former pupils Bill Self of Kansas, Mark Turgeon of Texas A&M; and John Calipari of Memphis.
"I did have an opportunity to watch others coach for two years. I learned so much," Brown said. "When you are head coach in the NBA, the season is so long, people come watch you. You don't have the opportunity to see others work. It afforded me that. I believe I benefited so much watching others coach."
Brown watched several KU practices last season.
He last was in town for KU's 110 years of KU basketball reunion, which doubled as 20th anniversary weekend for KU's 1988 national title team.
"My experience (in Lawrence) has been pretty special," said Brown, the only coach in history to win both an NCAA and NBA title (KU in '88, Detroit Pistons in 2004).
He's the only coach to lead seven NBA teams to the playoffs.
"My last visit there (during NBA season) would not have happened had I not been retired or semi-retired or fired and retired," he said.
"The (110-year) anniversary was unbelievable. It makes you realize how fortunate you were to be involved with that program."
Brown doesn't know what to expect during tonight's program, set to run from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Crown Toyota.
"The last banquet we had (for '88 title team) turned into a roast," he said with a laugh.