PDA

View Full Version : More Juicy stuff on Brown/Thomas from Vecsey



Will Galen
05-16-2006, 04:07 AM
http://www.nypost.com/sports/knicks/63864.htm

DOLAN SET TO SIGN CHECK, BOUNCE COACH
By Peter Vecsey

May 16, 2006 -- WHAT we have here is a failure to excommunicate.
All this time, I had it wrong. I figured Isiah Thomas hired someone who would end up sabotaging him and taking his job.

Not the other way around.

Much to the delight of no one in particular, Thomas is staying and Larry Brown is an agreed contract buyout away from being drum-rolled out of his dream job.

"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. Ten months ago, Brown pocketed $7 million when Pistons owner Bill Davidson dumped him after Detroit came within minutes of winning a second straight NBA championship.

My source is unsure whether that number, or any number, has been presented to Joe Glass, Brown's longstanding agent, who does all the dirty work that doesn't show up in Larry's stained stat sheet. But apparently that's what Dolan is prepared to pay to liberate the Knicks of a contrary coach who has been fed up for months with both his employers and employees.



"They're making things so uncomfortable for him, they're hoping he walks," said someone monitoring both sides of the epicenter. "But we all know that ain't happenin' in our lifetime. Not unless Larry's already halfway to his next multi-million job, which is positively conceivable."

According to an assistant coach, Thomas has been subverting Brown's authority with the players almost from the moment his coach began to undermine (read: devalue) his roster to the media. We're talking very early in the season.

From then on, there was hostility among the troops. "It's like two competing militias in Lebanon," underlined an extremist view of the scene.

Late in the season, I'm told Brown notified Thomas, "If you want me back you've got to get rid of five players." My informant declined to name names, maintaining a source isn't necessary to figure it out. So, we're talking Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Jalen Rose and Jerome James for sure. Nate Robinson or Maurice Taylor has to be the fifth.

Immediately after the Knicks' 23-59 sorry season expired, Thomas convened the usual exit meeting that all teams do. Both the GM/president and the coach separately get together with each individual player. Brown asked Thomas not to hold his encounter sessions, but he refused.

"Larry knew Isiah would undermine him further with the players and he was correct," disclosed a member of Brown's camp.

Subsequently, Thomas divulged to a Knicks beat writer that eight players had told him they don't want to play for Brown. Shortly thereafter, Thomas alerted Brown the five players weren't going anywhere.

In at least one case, that's completely opposite than what Thomas told Brown when he consented to lie about endorsing the acquisition of Rose. Thomas promised he'd only keep him for the remainder of the season, but recently he told Brown he intends to keep him the coming season as well.

I've got to believe the same scenario played out when Brown pretended to like Thomas' unfathomable procurement of the maximum compensated Francis (three years and $57M left).

Thomas' plan (who says he doesn't have one?) is to make Larry's life as unpleasant as possible in hopes he goes away on his volition, or is so unhappy he accepts far less than the $25M number.

Part II is for Thomas to leave his customary spot, skulking in the MSG tunnel, for a seat on the bench. That's tantamount to the arsonist who sets the fire, then tries to put it out so he can become the hero.

And you wonder why I call it Fablevision?

I'm guessing a letter of recommendation for Next Town's next six jobs is out of the question.
-----

Will Galen
05-16-2006, 04:10 AM
http://www.nypost.com/sports/knicks/63862.htm

LARRY'S MAGIC NUMBER: $25M
ISIAH'S ALREADY PLANNING FOR LIFE WITHOUT BROWN

By MARC BERMAN

May 16, 2006 -- The tragic Larry Brown Era moved a step closer to a messy conclusion with the Knicks coach laid up in his Greenwich, Conn., mansion recovering from surgery as Isiah Thomas held meetings with his college scouting staff at his summer place in Hilton Head, S.C. Thomas brainstormed with his men for the NBA Draft - clearly in charge, clearly the face of the franchise again.

There was no direct communication between Thomas and Brown yesterday as the Knicks seek to buy out Brown's contract. Brown underwent bladder surgery on Friday and was still recuperating. But it's doubtful Brown would have discussed draft matters in Thomas' home.

Indications were Brown and owner James Dolan will go face to face for one last meeting, but it's doubtful there's anything Brown can say that will change Dolan's thinking. The power struggle has been won by Thomas, who is being urged to replace Brown on the bench.

Meanwhile, Stephon Marbury, the center of the storm, sounded chipper about the prospect of Brown's removal. "Based on our record, that's normal for anybody to have that speculation," Marbury told the Associated Press. "I wouldn't mind. It doesn't matter who coaches. I don't care if Larry doesn't come back. I wouldn't mind at all."

Dolan tired of Brown's act quickly after the 23-59 disgrace, with the Marbury feud boiling his blood. Dolan and Garden president Steve Mills got a good taste of Brown's fussiness during their Wednesday weekly meetings with the coach and Thomas. Dolan had asked Brown to end the Marbury feud, only to have Brown go at it again in the media the next day.

Knicks brass feels it is more prudent to keep Marbury and Thomas' young core intact than to blow up the roster to get the veteran players Brown wants. The Knicks believe it would be more expensive to keep Brown and satisfy his trade requests - such as his push for $70 million Kenyon Martin - than buying him out. Brown also feels the club needs a shotblocking center, even though it has $30 million invested in Jerome James.

The Knicks are hoping they can buy out Brown for $25 million of the $40 million owed to him. It could be an ugly negotiation. Even at the 11th hour last July, agent Joe Glass squeezed out a fifth year after the Knicks originally held firm on four years, a source said. Brown could wind up in Sacramento or Golden State, and there even was a report about Charlotte.

Garden spokesman Barry Watkins said the Knicks still would not comment on Brown's future.

To add more wackiness to the proceedings, Glass claimed he heard from Thomas at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday for the first time since Peter Vecsey's front-page story Sunday about Thomas potentially replacing Brown as head coach.

"Isiah told me there's no validity to it at all," Glass said. "He said he hasn't responded to it because they don't respond to those things. Larry's ready to fullfill his coaching responsibilities."

If true, Thomas is likely waiting for Dolan to be the hit man, or they are waiting a few days for Brown to recover further from his surgery before commencing their plan. The Knicks begin their predraft workouts Monday and the head coach normally runs the drills.

On a Friday last July, Glass said he was confident Brown and the Pistons were working toward him coming back. That Monday, the Pistons announced they were parting ways.

Ten months ago, when he hired Brown in July, Thomas compared Brown to "Einstein" and called him "a turnaround king."

Now Thomas will likely be in control of his own expensive roster - athletic and talented, but lacking role players and defenders.

Pacers president Donnie Walsh said Thomas, who coached three years for him in Indiana, might bring a high-tempo offense the club lacked under Brown. Marbury and others complained privately about the team's slowdown approach.

"He's very creative, he come up with a running offense," Walsh said. "He's no Larry Brown, though. But he's farther along than you'd think, coaching just three years."

NorCal_Pacerfan
05-16-2006, 06:12 AM
Wow. What a mess in NY!

McClintic Sphere
05-16-2006, 06:32 AM
:lurk:
Verrrry entertaining!

Hicks
05-16-2006, 08:08 AM
You 'wonder' why Isiah has so many enemies. What a weasel.

Slick Pinkham
05-16-2006, 08:32 AM
25 million.

When Larry Brown takes a check to the bank, it's the BANK that bounces.

Harddrive7
05-16-2006, 08:53 AM
Do we want Larry back as our coach is what I'm wondering? Everyone KNEW that Zeke would do this. I sincerely hope that no one is surprised.

McClintic Sphere
05-16-2006, 08:56 AM
Reggie was on the Dan Patrick show yesterday and pretty much had Isiah's back the entire time, saying he was underrated as a coach, knew his stuff and that his problems with the Pacer's had more to do with dealing with immature players than his knowledge of the game. He seemed to dislike Brown completely and threw the blame for the mess in NY at LB's intransigent feet.

Rinuven
05-16-2006, 09:48 AM
For me the New York franchise will continue to be in trouble as long as the "blame everyone else" attitude is the climate. I've never read anything where somebody over there takes responsibility. It's always the same old lines pointing to the faults of others.

Sadly, for the first time I heard echos of that with our beloved Pacers and do hope management takes care of that in a hurry. It's a destructive force as the New York fans sadly know so well.

sixthman
05-16-2006, 09:55 AM
Reggie was on the Dan Patrick show yesterday and pretty much had Isiah's back the entire time, saying he was underrated as a coach, knew his stuff and that his problems with the Pacer's had more to do with dealing with immature players than his knowledge of the game. He seemed to dislike Brown completely and threw the blame for the mess in NY at LB's intransigent feet.

I'm with Reggie on this one. This saga is every bit as entertaining as the Mavs/Spurs series.

Arcadian
05-16-2006, 12:38 PM
Why does one have to be right and one wrong? Why can't they both be weasels?

Will Galen
05-16-2006, 12:56 PM
Reggie was on the Dan Patrick show yesterday and pretty much had Isiah's back the entire time, saying he was underrated as a coach, knew his stuff and that his problems with the Pacer's had more to do with dealing with immature players than his knowledge of the game. He seemed to dislike Brown completely and threw the blame for the mess in NY at LB's intransigent feet.

I didn't think Isiah was a bad coach, but that's not saying I thought he was a good one. More like he was good at some things and bad at others.

The thing about him is he's so two faced that everyone around him has to watch their back.

Will Galen
05-16-2006, 01:02 PM
Why does one have to be right and one wrong? Why can't they both be weasels?


If you are talking about Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas I think they both fall into the weasel catagory. They both undercut people, the difference being Isiah is sneaky about it and Brown does it in the newspapers.

Shade
05-16-2006, 01:14 PM
LB's agent says Zeke told him the rumors aren't true.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/story/418161p-353212c.html


Isiah denies, Larry twists

Reaches out to agent but Dolan is mum

By FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Larry Brown
This much is certain: Isiah Thomas contacted Larry Brown's agent yesterday and informed him the Knicks have no plans to fire his Hall of Fame client. What is uncertain is whether the team has left the door open for a buyout.

Joe Glass, Brown's longtime agent, revealed that the Knicks' president had called him in the late afternoon. It was the first time in over a week that the Knicks had been in contact with either Brown or his representative, and the first time since team sources told the Daily News that the Knicks are mulling buying out the final four years of Brown's contract.

"He informed me that the stories are not true," Glass said, "that Larry's the coach of the Knicks."

The language from both the Knicks and Glass is eerily similar to last season, when Brown and the Detroit Pistons were in the process of negotiating a buyout.

Team sources continue to indicate that Garden chairman James Dolan is leaning toward severing ties with Brown after one tumultuous season. In fact, regardless of what Thomas told Glass, ultimately the decision on whether to make a coaching change will be made by Dolan, who is also endorsing the idea of naming Thomas the coach.

The Knicks have not issued a public denial about the reports from sources. Those sources said part of Dolan's thinking is that Brown was too critical of the players last season. Although the Knicks previously have told Brown they would try to upgrade the roster, the concern in the organization is that they will not be able to make enough moves to satisfy Brown, and that they will have another season in which the coach publicly clashes with his players.

Brown's most infamous feud was with Stephon Marbury, one that began during the 2004 Olympics.

Yesterday, Marbury said he understands why the Knicks would be considering a coaching change. "Based on our record (23-59), that's normal for anybody to have that speculation," he told The Associated Press. Marbury also said he'd be fine with either Brown or Thomas. "I don't care if Larry Brown comes back. I wouldn't mind at all."

Glass admitted to being upset that the Knicks hadn't reached out to him since the sources told The News and other media outlets that Dolan is strongly considering buying out Brown's contact and replacing him with Thomas. The timing alone was a sensitive issue as Brown underwent a bladder operation Friday.

"Why wouldn't I be upset?" Glass said over the telephone. "Larry had an operation on Friday and all of a sudden I'm reading that he's not going to be the coach of the Knicks. Nobody from the Knicks has contacted us. Of course I'm upset."

In recent weeks, Brown has been unsuccessful in his attempts to have a meeting with Dolan. Thomas also has not been in contact with Brown.

Glass also refuted claims that Brown already is pursuing coaching jobs in Charlotte and Sacramento. According to one report, Brown's representatives have been in contact with the Bobcats.

"Unless Larry changed representation after 45 years, I don't know anything about that," Glass said. "I haven't had contact with anybody, and that includes the Knicks."

According to one source close to Brown, he is unlikely to coach anywhere next season if he does not coach the Knicks.

"At this point and time Larry is the coach of the Knicks until we are told otherwise," Glass added.

Brown was resting at his Greenwich, Conn., home yesterday and was unavailable for comment. His ongoing health problems are not expected to prevent him from coaching next season.

"He's ready, willing and able to be the coach of the Knicks," Glass said. "He wants to overcome the horrendous season they had and help turn the team around."

Brown completed the first season of a five-year, $50 million contract. Glass declined to comment on the possibility of a buyout, but from all indications, the divorce would be costly for the Knicks. People close to Brown say that if the Knicks are intent on firing him, they will have to pay him the approximately $40 million he is owed. Last season, Glass negotiated a $7 million buyout from the Pistons, even though the team owed Brown $18 million.

People familiar with Dolan's thinking claim that if he was committed to removing Brown from the sidelines, he would do whatever it takes at whatever the cost. Under Dolan's watch, the Knicks have paid off the contracts of Shandon Anderson, Don Chaney, Scott Layden and Lenny Wilkens.

Same time, this year

If this all sounds familiar, it is. Here's what Larry Brown said before his buyout with the Pistons was announced compared to what his camp is saying now:

July 6, 2005: 'I just want to get well and coach the Pistons. I've been saying that for a long time, but nobody seems to believe me. I don't know what else I can say.'

July 14. 2005: 'I'm confident I'll be back, but you never know. Whatever happens will be for the best of the franchise, and that's the important thing.'

Yesterday: Brown's agent says: 'At this point and time Larry is the coach of the Knicks until we are told otherwise. He's ready, willing and able to be the coach of the Knicks. He wants to overcome the horrendous season they had and help turn the team around.'

Originally published on May 16, 2006

Los Angeles
05-16-2006, 01:20 PM
For me the New York franchise will continue to be in trouble as long as the "blame everyone else" attitude is the climate. I've never read anything where somebody over there takes responsibility. It's always the same old lines pointing to the faults of others.

Sadly, for the first time I heard echos of that with our beloved Pacers and do hope management takes care of that in a hurry. It's a destructive force as the New York fans sadly know so well.
Quoted for truth.

Good post, Rinuven.

McClintic Sphere
05-16-2006, 01:23 PM
LB's self-proclaimed 'dream job' turned into a nightmare after only one season.
Every worse case scenario imagined for the Knicks has come to full fruition.
So sad.

naptownmenace
05-16-2006, 03:28 PM
For me the New York franchise will continue to be in trouble as long as the "blame everyone else" attitude is the climate. I've never read anything where somebody over there takes responsibility. It's always the same old lines pointing to the faults of others.

Sadly, for the first time I heard echos of that with our beloved Pacers and do hope management takes care of that in a hurry. It's a destructive force as the New York fans sadly know so well.


The blame culture starts and ends with Isiah Thomas. During his stay with the Pacers, that was the one thing that really irked me with him (well, that and his inconsistent rotations). It started with him as the coach and trickled down to the players. Now it's happened to NY.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Isiah is a good evaluator of talent, especially in the draft, but I don't see the Knicks doing any better than becoming an 8 seed with him at the helm.

Young
05-16-2006, 03:57 PM
I really don't understand why Larry Brown would be kicked out of New York before Thomas.

Thomas has made all these stupid trades. Putting a team together of Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Jamal Crawford, Quentien Richardson, Jalen Rose, and Eddy Curry. Come on now Thomas, having Marbury and Francis in the same backcourt = stupid and a disaster.

NY needs to get players who can play without the ball.

It is going to be really sad for NY if Thomas replaces Brown. Atleast make a good trade or two this summer and then give Brown another shot. It ain't his fault he has a piece of crap roster to work with, now is it?

efx
05-16-2006, 04:26 PM
Considering how freakin bad this team is here I welcome this drama with open arms. At least it's entertaining.l