Brown Traded For Ivany; Korchinski writes his Memoirs.
minutes into the call and bingo, Larry Gems is cutting loose on former
friend turned author Neil Korchinski.
"What do you expect from a guy like that?" he says.
For Canadians, it's almost that time again. Time to recall what we were doing and what all happened on Feb. 13, 2004, the day Loren Brown was traded to the Team Niles, or, as some like to think of it, the day Larry Gems became the most despised man in Canada.
You remember that day. We all do. Korchinski, who took Brown under his wing, has opted to share his memories of the Gems Newton Cup’s most meaningful transaction in his literary offering, Fun While It Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune.
Excerpts of the book appeared in a Calgary newspaper and included some not so flattering remarks attributed to Gems, Captain of the GNC’s team Gems, who unloaded Loren Brown for Bill Ivany
Chief among Gems alleged putdowns were: "Ever since [Brown] got married to that broad in Calgary. [Retail Store Manager Lisa Brown], his ego is out of control. Sometimes he's not all that good, and that father of his can be a real pain in the [expletive]."
couple of days later, those are words that sting like a paper cut. But Gems,
reached by cellphone on his way to work, insisted that's not exactly what he
said, especially the part about Doug Brown (Loren’s Dad).
"I would never say anything derogatory about Loren’s dad," Gems said. "He's a helluva guy. I met him many times and enjoyed him. . . . What I did see [in the book excerpts] said all I wanted was Ivany.. I didn't say anything bad about Loren and I won't now. I said that every player has a time and that I'd be interested [in a deal]," Gems said.
"Then when Loren got married, his wife sure as hell didn't want him playing for Gems. That was pretty much common knowledge. Then Korchinski saw me in Calgary at the shopping centre and asked me, 'Would you consider Ivany for Loren?' I said, 'Give me a call.' When we talked, I said, 'Sure, depending on the number of players because we'd have to rebuild our team.' That's really how it started."
Although Gems and Korchinski offer differing accounts of who said what — which one do you trust? — the one irrefutable fact is that everything exploded as soon as news of Brown's departure from Team Gems was confirmed. Immediately, fingers (including raised middle fingers) were pointed at Gems. It didn't help when, a day after the trade, Gems was quoted in the Calgary Herald as saying Brown had an ego "as big as Manhattan" and that his tears at the farewell news conference in Calgary had been a great acting job. “I told Newt’s I wouldn’t do this”, was the infamous line the Brown forced out during the very emotional press conference following the trade.
Gems insisted that wasn't exactly how it went.
"What I said was: 'Loren has an ego about as big as my own. Because of that, Loren needs a different team to expand that in. I think he can do better with a different team and get better endorsement deals.' I never said anything bad about Loren. I was very fond of Loren, and I still am."
That doesn't mean Gems has gone all melancholy and wishes he'd never considered moving Brown. One week after the trade that stunned and angered the country, Gems said he would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
"As a business deal, a golf deal, [trading Brown] was good for Loren, good for his family, good for the people in Radium, and good for everyone other than his fans. I understand how they feel, but life goes on."
being traded, Brown has been living the highlife in his new surroundings.
The public doesn’t quite know what to make of this confident Canadian
kid as he is swirled through the media.
In a comedic twist, it is expected that Brown will be hosting Saturday
Night Live within the upcoming months.