(Long Island, NY) When you thought you had seen it all, the New York Knicks even trump themselves. What was promoted as a coup and a master-mind decision by General Manager Isiah Thomas only one year ago is now blowing up in his face. The almighty Larry Brown, coming off a repulsive 23-59 season filled with more side stories than the daytime soap operas, is rumored to be on his way out. One and done for the future Hall of Fame head coach?
What is being floated now is the possibility of Knicks owner James Dolan buying out the final four years of Brown’s contract for approximately $25 million for the remaining four years and $40 million. By the way the season went for Brown, and his health concerns that became an issue towards the end of the regular season, this would seem like the proper thing to do. Brown was never the right coach for this team, and it showed more and more as the season wore on.
One of the main issues with Brown was his handling of the line ups and talking about his players to the media to get his message across. Point Guard Stephon Marbury had the longest and loudest feud with the coach and is also a hard player to trade. His long term and salary cap unfriendly contract make him hard to deal, coupled with his history make him almost impossible to deal. No one can take away the fact that he is a very talented player, but he also has never been on a winner and the teams that have peddled him away improved once he was shown the door. Did it come down to either Marbury or Brown had to go and the coach wouldn’t count against the salary cap?
Thomas is rumored to be the most likely successor to Brown. He had a decent coaching record in Indiana and was always waiting in the wings since he was first brought on to run the team. He put this team together and if he cannot get them to gel, then it should close the book on him, too.
It was obvious early on that the Larry Brown-Knicks marriage was going to end in divorce. But is a bit of a shock that it went this sour this quick. If it does in fact become a reality, how much worse a job can Thomas do? The Knicks had the second worse record in the NBA this past season, so they can only drop one more slot to the bottom of the barrel.