Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Stop Me If You've Heard This One....

There are some things in the world of sports, when said or read, are bound to elicit laughter.

The Los Angeles Clippers. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Curling. Anna Kournikova’s tennis career.

Here’s another one for you: Larry Brown to the New York Knicks.

Woo-hoo! Oh, I’m rolling on the floor with sides hurt. Man, does that bring tears to my eyes!
If taking the Knicks job doesn’t prove that Brown is a coaching whore, then I don’t know what will. Why in the world would he want to coach the Knicks? The roster is a nightmare, the ownership is suspect, and Isiah Thomas is flailing, making his stint leading the Toronto Raptors look like Red Auerbach with the Celtics.

My feelings exactly

This is just so funny, I hardly know where to begin. Shall we start with all the lies and disingenuous things Brown has said? I thought Detroit would be his last NBA coaching job. I thought he only uttered the "New York would be a dream job" comment in passing, harmlessly. I thought he was tired of moving around, lugging the "nomad" tag like an albatross around his neck. And then there was the hilarious smoke screen that he was supposedly "concerned" about displacing interim Knicks coach Herb Williams. That may have been the funniest of them all.

The laughs don’t stop there, people. The Knicks franchise itself is a chuckle fest. The team is ridiculously small and full of coaching headaches (read: Stephon Marbury). They haven’t made any noise in the playoffs since Pat Ewing was their center. Thomas is clue free. The fans will just as soon defecate on you than laud you. Oh well -- it was either Brown or Spike Lee, I suppose. Or Williams. As soon as Brown’s name surfaced as a possible replacement, Herb Williams became the most interim head coach in the history of sports. Another funny thing: the head coaching part of Williams’ contract expires July 31, but the assistant coaching part of it extends through next season. Hey, I want HIS agent.

Of course, $50 or $60 million is a lot of jack, and I can’t say I would have turned it down if I was Larry, from a money standpoint. But a lot of teams would have come up with that dollar amount, or close to it, if they wanted a shot at Brown. He could have waited and picked a more stable situation that was more conducive to winning. Instead, he picked the Knicks, a franchise with a rich history, but a poor future.

Maybe Brown liked the idea of the Knicks as a reclamation project. He did take the Clippers to the playoffs, after all. But that was 13 years ago. Brown is 64 now and in questionable health. I don’t think there is one doctor out there -- including the quacks -- who would prescribe coaching the New York Knicks for a man with the physical baggage Brown now carries, along with all that luggage. Or maybe he just likes introductory press conferences. Maybe he’s a deli guy. Regardless, LB will soon find out that even though Isiah and Joe Dumars were backcourt mates, unfortunately the GM gene was only deposited in one of them, and it wasn’t the point guard.

Of course, as frequently as Larry Brown carts himself around the NBA, ironically he may last longer in New York than Thomas. Any power struggles that ensue -- and they will, believe me -- will almost certainly be won by the coach. Placing Brown’s resume next to Isiah’s is going to look like the Dead Sea Scrolls sitting beside a McDonald’s job application.

Well, good luck to everyone in New York -- Brown, Isiah, the players, the fans. And remember, Knick boosters, the only reason to laugh is if you don’t, you’ll cry. And they won’t be the big, fat crocodile tears Larry Brown is shedding over replacing Herb Williams.

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