Monday, May 15, 2006


Knicks Brown out?

How can the worst team in the NBA possibly sink any lower? The Knicks reportedly have figured out a way: fire head coach Larry Brown and replace him with team president Isiah Thomas. This is bad news. Thomas' trades and pickups have resulted in a mixed bag of veteran players - Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Steve Francis, Eddie Curry, Jalen Rose, Quentin Richardson, Malik Rose, Maurice Taylor, Qyntel Woods - who all look good on paper but have no chemistry or clue playing together as a team. Who to blame for the Knicks' dismal 23-59 record? According to the New York Daily News, owner James Dolan seems to be leaning in the direction of buying out the four remaining years of Brown's $10 million per contract. "The general feeling inside the organization is that Thomas built a roster that should have won 41 games with Brown on the sidelines," the Daily News reported today.

Brown's tumultuous debut season as Knicks' coach was marred by public feuding with Marbury and scraps with other players who maintained that Brown provided little consistency by constantly changing the starting lineup. But the bottom line is the team that Thomas assembled tied a club record for losses (they had the same record in 1985-86 and went 21-59 in 1962-63). How could this be Brown's fault? Brown won the NBA title just two years ago with the Pistons and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. When Thomas hired him last July, he gushed: "Larry Brown is not just one of the best coaches in the NBA today, but in its history. He has made every team he has ever coached a winner, with a legendary approach to teaching and motivating his players. His value to us as a franchise at this time is immeasurable.” Now Thomas wants him fired.

Dolan should can Thomas instead. Thomas has never had success as a GM or coach, and is facing sexual harassment charges by a former team employee. "Thomas will do anything to save himself, because he knows the Garden is the end of the line for him," Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica contends. "He will never get another job as a top executive in basketball after this, he will not get a top coaching job, at least without hiring himself to do it."

Thanks to Thomas' trade of their No. 1 pick for the lumbering Curry, the Knicks won't qualify for a lottery selection in the June 28 NBA draft. That should be reason enough to doubt Thomas, not Coach Brown.

You're way too kind to Thomas. In my humble opinion, this team doesn't even look good on paper. It's a disaster from bottom to bottom (there is no top), there are no prospects for it to get better any time soon, and Thomas is squarely to blame.

And what the hell is Dolan thinking? How can an ostensibly sentient adult look at this situation and come to the conclusion that Brown is the guy who has to go?? Unbelievable!
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