Friday , Jul , 29 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Larry Brown Not The Answer For Knicks

 

Note to my New York Basketball brethren: Larry Brown is NOT bringing a championship to the Garden.

   

Walking around the Big Apple today, all the back pages were devoted to the one NBA coach who personally has kept U-Haul in business, moving from city to city during his career. From eavesdropping to conversations on the corner about how Steph and Co. are gonna take the Atlantic, to the glaring lights on the marquee at MSG which read, “Welcome, Home Larry,” it seems that New Yorkers are either way over-hyping this signing or suffering hallucinations from the recent east coast heat wave.


Larry Brown Not The Answer For Knicks
   

I’m not a Larry Brown hater. I think he is a great coach, definitely top 5 in the game today. But what you have in New York is a team, if you want to call it that, which is no better than a six seed…at their best. 

   

Save me all of your hoopla about how he’s a winner everywhere he goes, the man has won one, that’s right, 1 NBA championship. If you’re satisfied with bringing a team back to the playoffs, then LB is certainly your man, but he is in no way shape or form bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to New York.

   

Similar to how Bill Parcells is heralded as such a great coach, Larry Brown is glorified in many of the same ways. Parcells, only won Super Bowls with one team, yet is given the red carpet treatment as if he is the ultimate savior wherever he goes. Last time I checked though, the Cowboys didn’t seem like a contender to finish the season in Ford Field in 2006 and the same will be true with the Knickerbockers and their postseason accomplishments.

   

Look at the Eastern Conference- Detroit, Miami, Indiana, New Jersey, Boston all have better teams right now. Chicago and Washington will also probably have playoff caliber records, but considering those two teams lack of experience in the postseason and by cutting the Knicks some slack, we will lump them right in there with the lower half of playoff contenders in the east.

   

Is Channing Frye going to handle Shaq, Ben Wallace or Jermaine O’Neal down low though? Can Steph really out duel J-Kidd, Chauncey, or even D-Wade for that matter in a seven game series? Does Jamal Crawford have what it takes to stop Vinsanity, Paul Pierce or Rip Hamilton coming off those screens? The answer is a resounding “No,” and the orange and blue would be lucky to see the second round of the playoffs in ’06.

   

I think Brown will get Steph to become a better all around point guard, develop “Nasty” Nate Robinson into a solid backup and the team will be better than the garbage they put on the floor at the “world’s most famous arena” last season. But when it’s all said and done you still have a squad that will be counting on underachievers like Tim Thomas and Jerome James and role players like Jerome Williams and Malik Rose to bang with the best in the NBA…and until he is given his official pink slip or someone decides to physically give him the boot, you still have Allan Houston clinging to his roster spot and enormous paycheck in William Rehnquist like fashion.

 

So yes, the buzz will be back at MSG for a while this Fall and the Knicks will win more games than last.  But those rafters will still be empty come next spring, and the spring after and the spring after that, around the time when Coach Brown decides to ship off to his next NBA coaching destination. You would think that in a place that considers itself the Mecca of basketball, they would have had enough after over thirty years without an NBA title, but I guess in traditional New York fashion, all they look for is a good show and at least that’s what they’ll get for a few months starting in October.