Brown out in New York; Isiah takes over
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Larry Brown is out as head coach of the New
York Knicks after just one dismal season and president/general manager Isiah
Thomas will replace him on the bench.
Brown’s ouster had been reported for more than a month and Madison Square
Garden chairman James Dolan made it official on Thursday.
“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. 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,” Dolan said in a statement.
Brown left the Detroit Pistons for his “Dream Job” with the Knicks and
suffered through a 23-59 season. Not only was the record the worst for the
Knicks since an identical mark in 1986-87, but the 2005-06 season included a
reported rift between Brown and Thomas, as well as public criticism from the
coach to his players.
“I have great personal admiration for Larry, but have concluded that it is
best for our franchise if we make this change,” Dolan continued. “We
understand that fans were not happy with the performance of the team last
season and neither were we. We are committed to making major improvements next
season towards our goal of producing a winning basketball team.”
Now, it will be up to Thomas to coach the team he has put together.
“No one in our organization is happy with last season and we all accept
responsibility for our performance,” Thomas said in a statement. “This has
been a difficult time for the entire organization and our fans. Today begins
the 2006-07 season for the Knicks, and I strongly believe we are on the right
track to take major steps in our rebuilding process to achieve our goal of
being one of the premier teams in the NBA. Larry Brown is a great coach, but
for various reasons, bringing him to the Knicks did not turn out the way we
had hoped and we wish him the best in the future.”
Thomas, who joined the Knicks as president and general manager on December 22,
2003, previously served as a head coach with the Indiana Pacers for three
seasons from 2000-01 through 2002-03. He compiled a record of 131-115, making
the playoffs in each of his three seasons.