Tuesday , May , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Larry Brown and New York Knicks Soon to Part Ways

Although his agent recently claimed that he’d be back in New York next year, insiders say that Larry Brown is about to be bought out by the Knicks. Following a season which saw Brown do everything to help the team slip up but drop banana skins on the court, there might not be a man in NYC who’d like to see him come back for another stab (and that is the word) at coaching in the Big Apple. Still, for all his efforts to make a bad team worse, he looks set for a fat payday if James Dolan does as expected and signs the sheet to send him on his way.

“The number is $25 million,” reveals the same snitch who leaked Sunday’s story regarding the Knicks’ plot to create coach space for Thomas by bustin’ Brown to an unrestricted private.

That’s the magic number echoing throughout the dead brain chamber of Cablevision (biz)czar James Dolan. It’s roughly $19 million lower than what’s owed over the next four years in salary and perks to the 66-year-old.

Of course, Coach Larry will have little trouble finding a franchise willing to take on his baggage and reimburse him (and then some) for that theoretical nineteen million in lost earnings. With the buyout a certainty in the minds of many, there is already speculation concerning who may be the next franchise to sign Brown’s paycheque.

Charlotte and Sacramento are possibilities, but those who know Brown well say Golden State may be the most logical landing place.

At age 65, Brown ideally would seek a team that is playoff-ready. Brown and his wife, Shelly, prefer to live in a big city. And Brown would like to work for an organization that would allow him to move into a front-office role if he was unable to coach.

I doubt that there are many jobs which reward such flagrant underperformance with a three-year advance and the opportunity to move to a better position, but the head coaching spot with the Knicks appears to be one of them. Still, I tread the thin line between hatred and admiration for what Larry Brown has done over the past year.

Sure, you can question his loyalty for negotiating a deal during the playoffs, and his talent for systematically ruining New York. However, from his perspective, he’s taken two buyout cheques totalling thirty-two million dollars while setting himself up for a cushy job with the Warriors at the simple expense of having to watch the Knicks all year. Play on, player.

If there’s a one-second clip which exemplifies New York’s season, this is it right here.

Larry Brown and New York Knicks Soon to Part Ways