Larry Brown relieved of duties; Thomas takes over in dual role
Isiah Thomas has no one to blame but himself if things continue as they have for the New York Knicks. On Thursday, Larry Brown was relieved of his duties as head coach, with four years and $40 million remaining on his contract. Already playing the part of General Manager, Thomas will also be behind the bench next season. Is there another 23-59 in the Knicks' future?
James Dolan, owner of the Knicks, made it almost a relief when the official announcement was made. Brown was twisting in the wind waiting for his walking papers. The entire press conference after the season appears even more comical now than it did then. All parties gave the company line that they would all be back and were on the same page. But anyone who has followed this team knew that was just a mirage. Larry Brown was never the right coach for this team from day one. He is better equipped to be with a veteran team that is just missing leadership and experience from their coach. To put him with this group of younger and mismatched players was not well conceived.
Last year was last year. It's hard to forget about it, but Isiah Thomas has to if he wants to remain somewhat positive. He certainly has his hands full, and Dolan must be thinking the worst. If Isiah fails, he is as good as gone. It will not be out of the question that the Knicks will be searching for a new head coach (and GM) after next season.
What can be done to improve this team? The salary cap situation is still in shambles, they do not have their own pick in next week's draft (which, by the way, is Chicago's and is the second all around selection), they still have too many players that want the ball (Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Jalen Rose), a center in Eddy Curry that must get his game face on if he wants to avoid the 'bust' label, and a way to figure out more minutes for the young talent such as Channing Frye and David Lee.
If there's one thing that Isiah can do for his players this season is decide on a starting lineup and rotation. One of the main criticisms of Brown was his numerous starting lineups and strange rotations. Players didn't know if they were in or out from one game to the next.
It appears that Marbury has got his wish. He can sugar-coat it all he wants and keep making ridiculous statements that last season was the best of his life, etc. But it was obvious that he and Brown were not meant to be. One had to go. Marbury- last man standing.