Los Angeles - The months-old rumours over the future of New York Knicks' head coach Larry Brown became a reality Thursday, when he was fired and replaced with the team's president of basketball operations Isiah Thomas, effective immediately.
Brown's dismissal comes less than 11 months after the Hall of Fame coach signed a lucrative five-year contract worth more than 50 million dollars. With a reported 40 million dollars left on the contract, it is unclear how much of this Brown will receive.
'Larry has had a long and storied career,' Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan said in a statement released on the team's website. 'We hired him last summer with the expectation that he would be with the Knicks for a long time. Sometimes decisions work and sometimes they don't.'
After guiding the Detroit Pistons to the 2004 NBA title but failing to defend it, the well-travelled Brown was hired to turn a once-proud but now floundering franchise into a playoff contender, something he has successfully done with seven of the eight teams he has taken over in the past.
'No one in our organization is happy with last season and we all accept responsibility for our performance,' Thomas said in his own statement. 'This has been a difficult time for the entire organization and our fans.'
Brown was excited to be coming home for what he called his dream job. Instead, it turned into a nightmare for the 65-year-old native New Yorker, who owns a 1,010-800 record as an NBA coach. The Knicks failed to respond to him and finished with a 23-59 record - the second worst behind Portland (21-61) and the franchise's worst showing in 20 years.
'Larry Brown is a great coach, but for various reasons, bringing him to the Knicks did not turn out the way we had hoped and we wish him the best in the future,' Thomas said.
Leading the team into the next season, Thomas believes the Knicks will be much more competitive next season. Before joining the club as president and general manager in December 2003, the 12-time all-star guard served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers. In three seasons, he compiled a 131-115 record, including trips to the playoffs every year.
'Today begins the 2006-07 season for the Knicks, and I strongly believe we are on the right track to take major steps in our rebuilding process to achieve our goal of being one of the premier teams in the NBA,' Thomas said.
© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
For their record this year (23-59 second worst in the NBA with the highest payroll) Larry Brown received $435,000 per win.
So the Knicks will pay Brown $40 million to not work for the next 4 years.
I also heard this news story today: Canada's largest steel company will cut it's workforce by 15% and fire 700 people. This will save $45 million. LINK
By firing 700 people Stelco could afford to hire Larry Brown for 4 years.
The world is crazy.