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Old 04-21-06, 04:34 AM
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Larry Brown says he's staying, others will probably go

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Forget the health concerns, the 59 losses or the feud with Stephon Marbury: Larry Brown is coming back next season.

That's what Brown and team president Isiah Thomas said Thursday, one day after the New York Knicks completed one of the worst seasons in their history.

As for the rest of the team's high-priced but underachieving roster, changes figure to be coming.

"I am loyal to winning and I am not loyal to any singular individual," Thomas said at the Knicks' practice facility. "I'm going to do what I need to do to make our team better."

He'll have plenty of it after the Knicks went 23-59 in Brown's first season, tying the franchise record for losses. And though the players want the team kept intact so they can make up for it, Thomas knows that isn't realistic.

"When you won 23 games, I think we'll make some changes," he said. "Coach and I haven't sat down and fully decided what changes we'll make, but we'll probably make some changes.

"We have a group that from everything that I've heard today like each other, want to stay together and want to play together and believe that they can get it done. However, I don't know if that will be the case."

Thomas made a number of moves before and during this season, and almost none of them worked. Brown was hired to much fanfare but had one of the worst seasons of his Hall of Fame career; center Eddy Curry didn't show much progress after Thomas acquired him from Chicago during training camp -- using the No. 1 pick that will be a lottery selection -- and Jalen Rose and Steve Francis failed to make much impact after being dealt for during the season.

And while no players may be safe, Brown apparently is. Thomas said he won't fire the coach, and Brown said none of the health issues that sent him to the hospital twice and forced him to miss three games at the end of the season would keep him from the bench.

Concerns about Brown's health were part of the reason the Pistons didn't bring him back after last season. This time, he says they won't be the cause of his latest departure from a team.

"I wasn't in control of that," he said of the Detroit situation. "I want to return here. I want to fulfill my contract and I want to stay involved as long as they'll have me."

Thomas said Brown's job is safe because of his past successes, but there wasn't much to like about this season. The Knicks won 10 fewer games than last season, and Brown criticized some players through the media. It was almost as if things were tougher than the Brooklyn native expected.

"Nobody can train you or make you aware what it's going to be like to coach in New York," Brown said.

Dealing with Marbury was the toughest part. The coach and point guard bickered through the media in March, and Marbury has made it known that playing Brown's way isn't his preference.

Typical of their dysfunctional relationship was Marbury's session with the media Thursday. He said that "Larry Brown made me a better man," but then gave a "No comment" when asked if Brown was the right coach for the team.

Even if Brown and Marbury can work together, there's much more to address. The Knicks committed an NBA-worst 17.7 turnovers per game and surrendered an average of 102 points, a combination that led to plenty of ugly losses.

"For the most part we weren't even in some of the games we lost," Curry said.

Changes won't be easy. The Knicks have plenty of bad contracts that make up the league's highest payroll, and they won't be easy for Thomas to move.

But he will have to come up with something. No matter what the players say about being about to turn things around, 23-59 says differently.

"To sit here and think that we're going to stand pat is kind of silly," Brown said.
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Old 04-21-06, 04:47 AM
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Location: flagstaff, az
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I actually think they should stay pat more or less and just find somebody that will get these players to have the right attitude and work ethic. A number of Knicks didn't even start the season with the team, and I think it's unfair to give up on them when they were thrown into the middle of such a bad situation. Enough of the "blockbluster" off-season and mid-season trades....give these guys a hard training camp in some place exotic (and as far from NY as possible so they have to do a little travel-bonding), have a consistent starting line-up/rotation and I think they'll do fine. I actually think the biggest issue is Larry Brown and his "my way or the highway" attitude. The players are committed to a turnaround; just have a team meeting over the summer, discuss everything on everyone's mind, make some compromises, get everyone on the same page and just play some f#cking basketball!

What's so bad with a starting 5 of Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson, Channing Frye and Eddy Curry other than attitude? There's talent on the bench too with Jerome James (again, attitude problem), Maurice Taylor, Malik and Jalen Rose. If you can't win 41 games with that talented a roster in the cushy-soft Atlantic division, it's the COACH's fault, period. As much as I hate Isiah and think he's a total moron, the ball is in Larry's court to stop talking to the press and start talking to his players.
I never assume the Spurs will lose a single game....EVER.

Last edited by wu_aphex; 04-21-06 at 08:30 AM.
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