Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2004

Grizzlies' Brown named Coach of the Year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Hubie Brown answered a question about Memphis' first pro basketball playoff game by detailing how his Kentucky Colonels won the ABA title in 1975.

He listed the St. Louis roster and pointed out that 72 of 79 players won NBA jobs after the leagues merged.

Jerry West listened, then said: ''I can't remember yesterday. How do you remember that?''

''When you're old, you just talk,'' Brown said. ''I take advantage of the fact that you're being charitable.''

Brown at 70, the oldest coach in the league had plenty to talk about Wednesday after winning the NBA Coach of the Year award for leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a team-record 50 wins and their first playoff berth.

He beat Utah's Jerry Sloan in a close race with 466 points, including 62 of 122 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and sportscasters. The award marks a 26-year span between victories for Brown, who also was honored as the top coach in the 1977-78 season with Atlanta. Gene Shue won 13 years apart, with Baltimore (1969) and Washington (1982).

Sharpe will play at least one more season

DENVER Tight end Shannon Sharpe will return to the Denver Broncos for at least one more season. After completing his 14th season, Sharpe said in January he might retire and planned on announcing his decision before this weekend's draft so the team would know whether to look for a replacement.

Sharpe is the NFL's career leader in receptions (815) and yards (10,060) at his position, and last season he passed Jerry Smith for most touchdowns with 62.

Archie Manning doesn't want Eli in San Diego

SAN DIEGO Archie Manning doesn't want his son, top quarterback prospect Eli, to be taken by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick of the NFL draft.

General manager A.J. Smith said Wednesday night that Eli Manning's agent, Tom Condon, relayed Archie Manning's concerns during a phone call.

Condon also said Archie Manning feels the New York Giants would be a better fit for his son, Smith said.

''We understand, but we'll do what's in the best interests of the San Diego Chargers,'' Smith said.

Condon has not returned phone calls for several days.

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