Dream come true: Brown introduced as Knicks coach
New York, NY (Sports Network) – The New York Knicks introduced Hall of Famer
Larry Brown as the 22nd head coach in franchise history on Thursday.
Although terms of the deal were not released, several reports indicated that
it is a five-year contract worth between $50 million and $60 million.
Born in Brooklyn in September of 1940, Brown has often described the Knicks as
his “dream job.” He grew up idolizing legendary coach Red Holzman, who guided
the Knicks to their last NBA title in 1973.
“When I was announced as the Olympic coach [for the 2004 Athens Games], I
thought that was the single greatest honor I could ever have,” Brown stated.
“But I think standing here, in Madison Square Garden…with my family here,
this tops it all.”
Last week Brown was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Pistons, just
two years into a five-year, $25 million contract. Brown had led Detroit to the
NBA championship in 2004 and his Pistons were beaten in seven games by San
Antonio in the NBA Finals this past season.
The 64-year-old Brown, though, wasted little time in securing a new job, as he
met with Knicks president of basketball operations, Isiah Thomas, last
Thursday and then met with interim head coach Herb Williams on Monday.
Williams, who guided the Knicks to a record of 16-27 after taking over for
Lenny Wilkens in late January, is expected to remain as an assistant to Brown.
Thomas, who praised Williams for his dedication to the Knicks, waited a long
time to select a new coach, hoping Brown would become available.
“This is a great day for the New York Knicks and our fans,” said Thomas.
“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.”
A three-time ABA Coach of the Year and the 2001 NBA Coach of the Year while
with the 76ers, Brown joined the Pistons after spending six seasons with
Philadelphia. His basketball resume includes 33 years of coaching at the
collegiate or professional level. He has also had coaching stints with the
Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets
and the ABA’s Carolina Cougars. He was the head coach at UCLA and the
University of Kansas, where he won the National Championship with the Jayhawks
In his NBA career, Brown has compiled a 987-741 record and has 100 postseason
“I can’t promise wins and losses,” Brown added. “But I promise every single
day, as a staff, we’ll do our very best to make people proud of our franchise
and our players and the way we play. To have an opportunity, in this setting,
to show the game the way it’s supposed to be played will be a thrill for me.”
He has had only three losing seasons as a head coach (1988-89 Spurs, 1996-97,
Indiana, 1997-98 Philadelphia).
Asked if this would be his last stop as a coach, Brown responded, “I think I
say that everywhere I’ve been…I know this will be my last stop. Basketball
started for me in this city and I want to be here when it’s finally time for
me to stop.”
Brown, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, has a big
job ahead of him in New York, as the Knicks went 33-49 this past season.
“Our goal is to deliver a winning team for the fans of New York,” said Knicks
CEO Jim Dolan. “Today we believe we are taking major step forward toward that
The Knicks haven’t had a winning season since the 2000-01 campaign, although
they did make the playoffs in 2004 and were swept out of the first round by
New Jersey. New York hasn’t won a playoff series since 2000.