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Larry Brown Fired

6/22/2006

From ESPN news:

"Larry has had a long and storied career. We hired him last summer with the expectation that he would be with the Knicks for a long time. Sometimes decisions work and sometimes they don't," MSG Chairman James L. Dolan said. "After careful consideration, despite the best intentions from everyone involved, this current structure did not work for us last season and I did not think it was going to improve next season."

Chris Sheridan is all over this story with details I haven't seen elsewhere, like this:

Going into this morning's meeting, Dolan was actually prepared to retain Brown as coach despite the organization's silence over the past month after it was first reported that Brown was on his way out and Thomas would replace him, but the owner did not receive the assurances he wanted from Brown that he would change his ways in the upcoming season.

One of the unreported details of how the rift between Thomas and Brown grew last season was that Thomas felt he was being undermined by Brown in trade talks when the coach would call people he knew on teams the Knicks were speaking with and would propose trades of his own.

Although I have no information to this effect, I can't shake the suspicion that Larry Brown's plan from the get-go was to try to get Isiah Thomas fired and take over his responsibilities.

Sheridan also points out that this could be Isiah Thomas's last chance in the NBA: he has ruffled enough feathers around the league, and if he can't make it work with an unlimited budget and a roster of his making, it's hard to see why anyone would give him another chance to run a team. Larry Brown's underperformance was his last excuse, and now that's gone.