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Old 06-22-06, 06:29 AM
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Larry Brown to the Bobcats?

This article is from the New York Post online edition:

NBA EXEC SEES LARRY JOINING JORDAN


By MARC BERMAN

June 22, 2006 -- There is no question Larry Brown won't be coaching the Knicks next season and Isiah Thomas will be. The questions are which day will it become official, and where will Brown ultimately wind up, if anywhere?
With the days ticking down on Brown's disastrous Knick tenure, one league executive who's a friend of Brown said he wouldn't be surprised if new Bobcats partial owner Michael Jordan has interest in the lame-duck Knicks coach.

Brown and Jordan both bleed North Carolina blue and are friends. Brown makes it a point to go every summer with his son L.J. to teach at Jordan's basketball camp in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Brown, meanwhile, has his two daughters from his first marriage living in Charlotte, as well as his 101-year-old mother, Anne. The team executive said he could foresee Jordan trying to hire UNC legend Dean Smith as a Bobcats consultant. Smith, who is Brown's mentor, could be a calming influence and ensure Brown and Jordan stayed on the same page to avoid the disaster that occurred between Brown and Isiah Thomas, who no longer are on speaking terms.

"If Larry is looking for a comfortable exit to his career, Charlotte would be it," the team executive said.

On Day 39 of "Larry Held Hostage," Brown ran another round of pre-draft workouts but avoided the media stakeout for the first time by turning his car in the opposite direction. Signals are Dolan will make the change before Wednesday's draft. Today's workouts are the last ones scheduled.

GM-coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who has done an excellent job in his two years with the Bobcats, has said he'd like to remain in the unorthodox dual role. Jordan has yet to comment since last week's announcement he had joined forces with owner Bob Johnson. A Charlotte spokesman said, "We have a coach and GM."

Johnson has a reputation of being thrifty, but if Brown accepts a buyout for most of his $40 million, he could take much less than market value to align with Jordan.

Brown's landing spot won't be Golden State, despite speculation because of his Hamptons friendship with owner Chris Cohan. A person familiar with the owner's thinking told The Post that Brown won't be considered for Mike Montgomery's job.

"Chris has confidence and tremendous respect for Chris Mullin and Montgomery," the person said. "He's not looking to make any changes . . . They're solid summer acquaintances. Chris would never have Larry work for him. It might ruin a very good relationship."

Another source said agent Joe Glass and Brown are both well-acquainted with Wizards owner Abe Pollin.

The Brown camp has given off signals Brown won't coach next season, but that might not be by his own choice. The family is a week away from moving out of a rental in Greenwich, Conn., and into a new home in the same town.

Another family friend predicted Brown will volunteer to coach at a Connecticut high school. "That's what he's always wanted to do," the friend said.



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The Knicks had an interesting player at workouts yesterday, Jacksonville State's Walker Russell, son of a Knicks scout of the same name. The younger Russell used to babysit Isiah Thomas' kids when his father played with Thomas in Detroit.

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