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View Full Version : Is LB losing the Knick players



indygeezer
02-02-2006, 04:22 PM
IS Rimfire having fond rememberances of Layden yet?

Lifted from RealGM
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Larry the target of players' shots

Unite as team against coach

BY FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER


Larry Brown and his players don't like way things are going.

As Larry Brown turned left at Woody Allen's seat and accelerated past Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson in the tunnel, one Knick turned to his teammates and announced: "Now we can start playing ball."

Just when you thought it couldn't get any uglier at Madison Square Garden, a growing rift between the players and their Hall of Fame coach is beginning to surface. How bad is it? Let's just say it's safe to assume that no one in the locker room is going to take up a collection to pay Brown's fine for being ejected in the third quarter of Tuesday's humiliating 130-97 loss to the Lakers.


The Knicks are in disarray from top to bottom with no relief - or playoff games - in sight. Thomas, the team president, is embroiled in a sexual harassment lawsuit that gets messier each day. The team has lost nine of its last 10 games and is 14-30 overall.


And inside the locker room, where confusion and frustration reign, the players are fed up with Brown beating them down privately and publicly, according to several team sources. Following Monday's loss to Atlanta, Brown accused the players of quitting. Two days earlier, he was highly critical of Eddy Curry's performance in a loss to Philadelphia.


That's why few players were sorry to see the coach ejected with 5:46 remaining in the third quarter Tuesday night. According to a source, as Brown walked to the locker room, at least two players half-jokingly commented that the team was free to play how it wanted.


In the aftermath of the 33-point loss to the Lakers, the Knicks met for two hours at their training facility yesterday, but the players were not made available. Thomas and Garden chairman James Dolan were also in Greenburgh and were said to be in meetings with Brown. Both Dolan and Thomas were off limits to the press as well.


People close to Dolan continue to stress that the Garden chief has faith in Thomas even though that loyalty is being tested. Under Thomas, the Knicks haven't won a playoff game and are working on their third straight losing season. Thomas has convinced Dolan that he is rebuilding and yet the Chicago Bulls own the Knicks' first-round pick this June, which is almost certain to be a lottery selection. Also, the payroll is at a league-high $120 million and climbing.


Thomas acquired every player on the roster and their performance under Brown has done little to enhance the team president's job security. It also can't help that Brown has used 27 starting lineups and that he has been openly critical of the players, something that neither Don Chaney nor Lenny Wilkens dared to do under Thomas.


Likewise, it can't help Brown that his players all have a pipeline to Thomas. In the past, Thomas' role as a buffer and friend to certain players ticked off those Knicks who were leftovers from previous regimes. Now Brown is the outsider.


With Thomas being such a powerful presence around the team it would seem only logical that Brown would have problems gaining command of the locker room, even though he has a proven track record. According to a source, the players are convinced that Brown is looking to move most of them and would do just that if given the power. Hence, the players are loyal to Thomas, which could lead to a Brown-Thomas showdown.


Stephon Marbury's problems with Brown have been well-documented, and if nothing else, the point guard is not afraid to tell his side of the story. The same is true of second-year forward Trevor Ariza, who two weeks ago requested a meeting with Brown only to be denied.


But many of their teammates who have also felt the brunt of Brown's demanding ways - Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Curry and Jerome James - have exercised restraint.


The lines of communication appear to be closing. Following yesterday's film session, Brown admitted that Antonio Davis delivered a message from the team that they want the staff to simplify the way they are to defend pick-and-rolls.


"He was the spokesperson," Brown said. "Tony knows me."


Davis played for Brown with the Indiana Pacers and acts as a liaison between the players and the coach. Of course, Thomas had serious reservations about bringing in Davis, who was included in the Curry deal. Perhaps Thomas felt threatened because of Davis' relationship with the new coach. Now, Brown needs Davis more than ever.


"You can say almost anything to Tony Davis because he's been with me and there is a trust," Brown said of his tough-love approach. "And then with some, they might not listen to what you're saying, they might just hear your voice."


You have to wonder how many Knicks hear anything now.

Originally published on February 2, 2006

Kegboy
02-02-2006, 04:55 PM
Sooner or later the players will learn they've just got to live with it. The smart ones will realize Larry is making them better players. Problem is, I don't know how many of those they have.

scar
02-02-2006, 04:58 PM
This is what concerns me as a Pacers fan in the Central Division. The Knicks are plummiting, and the Bulls will benefit from it. The Bulls have a very good shot at getting Morrison or Aldridge, and if they get Aldridge, watch out, that kid is going to be up there with Duncan and Garnett. And then the next season, the Bulls own the right to switch first round draft picks with the Knicks, no protection there either, so if the Knicks tank to seasons in a row, the Bulls have an option to take that draft pick too. So, in theory, you might see Greg Oden in a Bulls jersey.

Tim
02-02-2006, 05:26 PM
We should have expected this stuff, LB is probably feeling comfortable.

Kstat
02-02-2006, 05:43 PM
I wonder if coaching the Pistons has made LB lose his edge....

Moses
02-02-2006, 06:26 PM
What did you guys expect? Larry is one of those coaches who players will hate until they win games. He does win games, it just takes alot of time to set everything into place. I think he's an over-rated coach and there are many other good options at HC, But no coach in the NBA could make the Knicks winners. How Zeke still has a job is beyond me. The Knicks need to trade away almost all of their players for expiring contracts if they can and start rebuilding now.

N8R
02-02-2006, 07:30 PM
I agree with Moses. Every player except Frye Robinson and Lee need to be gone. I have had enough of bad contracts and no talents coming to New York and stinkin it up. The first to go needs to be Isiah then Marbury Crawford Richardson and Davis followed by the rest of them. Just trade them away and have no one but Frye Robinson and Lee next year and then use your newly freed up cap space to go after young talents. Enough of these has beens and never going to be's.

Chauncey
02-02-2006, 07:59 PM
Larry Brown=traveling salesman

DisplacedKnick
02-02-2006, 09:23 PM
Sooner or later the players will learn they've just got to live with it. The smart ones will realize Larry is making them better players. Problem is, I don't know how many of those they have.

Well, the three rooks (Nate's debatable after dunk-screaming in a 33-pt loss). Then it gets tougher. Woods (not smart but Larry wanted him), Marbury(he's becoming one of Larry's favorites - amazingly), AD, Rose, Curry. Butler's young enough to try to hang onto. Not sure about Ariza but he's probably worth salvaging too.

Q and JCraw should be shipped. Everyone on the planet except Zeke knew James was a waste of space.

However, one of the problems is Zeke. It will surprise nobody from Indy that he's buddies with some of the players. He likes to work out with them in practice, etc.

Dolan's going to have to face something at some point - either the best coach in the league (arguable but top-5 anyway) doesn't know how to coach, or Isiah doesn't know how to put a team together.

Once Dolan figures that out the screw crew - especially Crawford - will be clutching their collective nutsacks wondering how long until they end up in Toronto or Atlanta or somewhere.

slyder
02-02-2006, 10:23 PM
Larry Brown=traveling salesman

yeah, what is it with this larry brown? is his
going from one job to another an ego thing or what?
he's good but is it just as simple as he loses his effectiveness with the players, interest in the job,
or does he just need attention? big-city attention...

i was so excited when he came to the pacers, it was
he and his staff who made this a "special" team (larry brown's favorite word). and hats off to him, he did a great job. but that was like his - what - seventh
nba job or something?

seem like this one is not just a case of players needing time to settle into the "right way to play".

Skaut_Ech
02-03-2006, 07:41 AM
yeah, what is it with this larry brown? is his
going from one job to another an ego thing or what?
he's good but is it just as simple as he loses his effectiveness with the players, interest in the job,
or does he just need attention? big-city attention...

i was so excited when he came to the pacers, it was
he and his staff who made this a "special" team (larry brown's favorite word). and hats off to him, he did a great job. but that was like his - what - seventh
nba job or something?

seem like this one is not just a case of players needing time to settle into the "right way to play".

:bs2:I get sooOo tired of people digging on LB for being a "vagabond" coach. He's coached eight teams over TWENTY TWO YEARS!! The man's been coaching since 1976. Those of you old enough, let me ask you this: How many jobs have YOU had since 1976?

Yeah, Larry's a real egomiac, what with his coaching jobs in the big cities of Denver, New Jersey...San Antonio. Now if he was bouncing from teams like the Lakers, Celtics, etc, I'd say there was some validity to your arguement.

The biggest problem with Larry is that he wants his players to constantly work to get better. The average player wants to put in his practice, play his games and collect his paycheck. It's human nature. Most people don't want someone constantly pushing them to go to the next level. Larry gets tuned out because players get tired of working their butts so hard, even though in the grand scheme of things, it's only a few years of their lives.

Gary Payton has played for 5 teams in 15 years. He's one of the oldest players in the league. Dikembe Mutombo has played about the same length and has played for 6 teams. These guys were hi impact players who helped define their positions and were all-star players, just as Larry is the 4th winningest coach is NBA history. Are they egomaniacs, too? :hmm: Should we wonder if they "play the right way"?

You've got pampered guys getting payed millions of dollars to play a game.

On the average day, they have to practice for two hours, then the rest of the day is theirs, if there's no game. On travel days, they fly on a private plane with restaurant quality food with a selection of entres and desserts, get something like $150 a day per diem for food :-o (That's an extra 70 thousand a year if they pocket the money), are put up in the nicest hotels in town and if they decide to go out clubbing, they pay nothing and are given free drinks and VIP status for the night.

So what's the one fly in the ointment? :fly:

Larry. Brown.

Here's a guy who yells at you to keep pushing yourself. Rather than kiss your butt, he actually has the gall to say bad things about your abilities, both to your face AND the media. How dare he?! :irked:;)

I always think it's funny when they do article about if Larry is losing his players. Far as I'm concerned, they should title the articles 'Why aren't the players listening to a winning coach?"

Larry's as effective as they come, but the diss should be on the players not wanting to work as hard as they can at the career they chosen, not blaming the coach for pushing them. And who cares how many teams he's coached for over that long of a time frame. :rant:

He's fourth winningest coach in history. Obviously he knows what he's doing.

RWB
02-03-2006, 09:51 AM
Some good points Scott, but when does a coach cross the line from being demanding to just mean spirited? Maybe LB has reached that point.

Doug
02-03-2006, 10:04 AM
Earlier this week I caught myself thinking that Larry Brown would be a good fit for our bunch... I keep seeing a lack of fundemental basketball - the inability to set or use picks for example. Or the lack of desire or ability to box out for a rebound. People who hold the ball for way too long.

They could use a "teacher".

But I'm not advocating getting rid of Rick and bringing in Larry if the Knicks gig goes south. I was just pondering if our current collection of talent could benefit from his "hands on, teaching" approach.

Skaut_Ech
02-03-2006, 10:15 AM
Some good points Scott, but when does a coach cross the line from being demanding to just mean spirited? Maybe LB has reached that point.

Yeah, I'd have to admit, RWB, Larry seems to be straddling the line lately. It seems he took a mistep taking this job and he doesn't know how to handle it, so I think he's venting on the players.

Then again, he seems to be taking the same tact that Sam Mitchell has been doing. I was surprised at the PDers who were supportive of Sam's tactics. Now this is just me, but it seems a lot of Larry's "mean spirited" comments tend to be in response to one of his players unwisely saying something of a complaining nature to the media.

But he has been particularly menopausal lately.

Knucklehead Warrior
02-03-2006, 10:21 AM
Does anybody remember Dick Versace's memorable line --
"Do you want me to push you?"

Now there was a coach who took us to new levels.

RWB
02-03-2006, 10:22 AM
But he has been particularly menopausal lately.

Bingo, I really do think you may have hit something here. I have to wonder if Brown's health issues are flaring up again. I woudn't be surprised to see LB step down at the end of the season and take a break from coaching.

Fool
02-03-2006, 02:06 PM
Is is safe to assume that the player who made the comment was on the bench? (I don't know where the players were when LB finally left after being tossed)

If so, it would be nice to see the group of players it could possibly be. I was under the impression that just like all of LBs tenures, some were getting with the program, some were still being broken down, and some just wouldn't get it (and never will). If it was one of the fools who's never going to play for the Knicks under LB anyway, then whats the big deal?

naptownmenace
02-03-2006, 04:48 PM
No one could turn that Knicks team into anything better than a 35 win team except Phil Jackson... maybe he gets them to 41-41.

Isiah really needs to do himself a favor and get his coach some vets within the last 2 years of their contract. LB loves out-of-their-prime veterans who have already learned the pro game and know that they are on the downside of their careers and can only get it done with effort. Get him some guys like Eric Snow, Tony Delk, Jauques Vaughn, or Brevin Knight to man the Point along with a few other smart veteran players and he could do some damage.

That said, I do think that Phil and Popovich are the 2 top coaches in the league. Larry is 3rd.