Sports Outside the Beltway

Knicks Might Fire Larry Brown

ESPN reports that the Knicks are considering firing Larry Brown after one miserable season.

Larry Brown’s dream job with the New York Knicks could end after only one season. Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, who’s upset over Brown’s record and the coach’s public criticism of his players, is considering buying out the final four years of the coach’s contract, the New York Daily News and New York Post reported in Sunday’s editions. The buyout is worth at least $40 million, the newspaper reported. The Knicks declined to comment. One published report indicated Knicks president Isiah Thomas was in line to replace Brown as head coach, the newspaper said, but the team would not confirm nor deny it.

Brown, who led the Knicks to a 23-59 season, has indicated that he will not resign. But the club could avoid having to pay another coach upward of $5 million a year if Thomas takes the job, the Daily News reported. One source told the newspaper that Thomas — who coached the Pacers from 2000-2003 — would be amenable to coaching the Knicks.

In April, one day after the Knicks completed one of the worst seasons in franchise history, Thomas said the Hall of Fame coach would return to coach the team for a second season. The underachieving roster was another story. “I am loyal to winning and I am not loyal to any singular individual,” Thomas said then. “I’m going to do what I need to do to make our team better.

It would be bizarre indeed to spend $40 million to have Larry Brown, widely considered one of the top two coaches in the league, not to coach the team. It takes any new coach a while to turn around a bad team, which is almost always the result of poor player personnel decisions.

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