Bulls assistant coach Randy Brown wants you to know he's no mole, snitch, rat, spy, etc...you get the picture.
ICYMI, Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times reported last week that Jimmy Butler was specifically warning new players of Brown's spying:
Butler and other Bulls have had issues with the "spying’’ that goes on in the locker room. He warned new players that if they didn’t want Forman to hear criticism, they shouldn’t talk in front of certain assistant coaches such as Randy Brown.
That story was corroborated a day later by former Bull, Rip Hamilton:
"One of the coaches, assistant coaches, spits out, 'Randy has nothing to do with this team, he doesn't need to be around the players.' Looked at every man that was in that film session and pretty much told them, 'Hey, don't listen to him. When he comes and talks to you, don't listen to him.'
Well now Brown has come to his own defense (it's interesting to note that nobody else in the Bulls org has). The Chicago Tribune's KC Johnson recently collected Brown's thoughts on the matter.
"Look, this is a public position. I get it. But my reputation is being slandered at this point," Brown told the Tribune. "I'm losing sleep the last couple of days. I'm trying to get over it. But it's tough.
"I played 12 years in the NBA. I've had hundreds of teammates and I've always been a good teammate on and off the court. I've never been known as the person I'm being portrayed as. As a former player, I understand how sacred the locker room is. I would never, ever violate that unwritten rule. That room is for the players. It's not for me to report anything. I would never do that.
"I think I'm a really, really good coach. I work my ass off for Fred Hoiberg and the Bulls. I treat all my players the same, from D-Wade all the way down to Denzel Valentine. I feel I relate to these players in more ways than basketball. For me to be portrayed as being a snitch really, really doesn't sit well with me. It's not part of who I am."
Johnson's article later goes on to mention that the distrust between Brown and the team goes back to the Thibodeau days...however, it also confirms that Brown is well-liked by several players.
In Brown's former role of Special Assistant to Gar, he would be within his bounds to report certain things back to management (status on player-coach relationships, status on player development, etc). However, in his current role of assistant coach, reporting confidential matters back to management could be considered a slight conflict of interest. While "spying" is likely too strong of a word, there are certain locker-room/behind-the-scenes issues that Brown should be expected to keep in-house.
I'm of the opinion that this story likely falls somewhere in the middle. I doubt Brown is actively spying/snitching on players, but he may be "reporting" a little too much info up to Gar/Pax.
It was briefly rumored at the end of last season that Brown would be returning to his previous role in assisting Gar, but it never came to fruition. One has to strongly assume we won't see him on the sidelines after this season.