Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dream Jobs Don't Always Turn Out So Dreamy


As a Carolina fan....I root for all former Heels no matter where they are.  Whether it is guys like Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Vince Carter in the playoffs......or anyone else still around.  That includes coaches.

The problem is that one of those coaches, Larry Brown, is being torn apart about as quickly as he's been built up.

I like Larry....and I don't like him.  As a coach, he'd be a perfect college or high school coach.  He loves to teach and some of his methods [breaking down players] is a bit easier to do at the "amateur" level.  It is true:  so far he's won everywhere he's gone.  But he was forever known as a nomad since he bounced around from job to job without really finishing the deal.  Then, like overnight, he takes over an already pretty good Pistons team and ends up in two straight NBA Finals...including one title.

Then, he turned from Nomad Larry to Larry The Great.  His quirkiness is all of the sudden genius.  And he became the star of a team without stars.  And it went to his head.

His "the right way" mantra became hypocritical as he turned against his organization during a championship run.  During the Pistons 2005 postseason, he apparantly was "secretly" meeting with the Cavaliers top people about taking over as president of that franchise.  Instead of focus being on Detroit's quest to repeat...it was on whether Brown would stay or go.  The right way, indeed.

He then ushered a nasty buyout with the Pistons so he could jump to his dream job, the New York Knicks.  Since then, all the Pistons did was cruise to the best record in the NBA this season without him.  And his Knicks, with the highest payroll in the NBA, finished with the 2nd worst record in the league. 

Hey, things happen....but not this.  Brown had a public feud with Stephon Marbury, his point guard.  Doing that in Indiana or Detroit may be one thing....but this is New York.  He mismanaged his team all season long.  He abandoned the veterans early on by plugging in their rookies to take the major minutes.....then scratched that no too much longer and those same rookies barely saw the court again.  The players don't trust him or believe in him....which is usually the first sign of a need to replace your coach.

Now comes word that the Knicks may buy Brown out just to see him walk.

But why?  Truth be told....Brown does deserve at least a Year Two.  Sure, it looks as if nothing was accomplished this season for the Knicks....but you are gonna pay Brown to leave so you can have.....what?  No other coach can make this mess into art.  Maybe Phil Jackson squeezes a few more wins out of this bunch....but that's it.  And remember, Jackson had a shot at this job but decided it was easier to kiss Kobe's butt after ripping him in a book than deal with this crap.

And "this crap" isn't Brown's fault.  This wasn't a good team when he arrived either.  The roster is full over overpriced and overhyped "talent" that has no business being together.  It is Brown's boss, Isiah Thomas, that molded this roster in his own image.  It is Thomas, armed with owner James Dolan's credit card, who blew this thing up.


A buddy of mine, LBERG, wrote this about the Great Zeke.....

Let's see...and forgive me if I have this in the wrong chronological order...

Isiah Lord Thomas' post-playing resume:
Mismanaged the CBA into destruction
Mismanaged the Toronto Raptors into near implosion
Bungled his duties in Indiana, who were smart enough to get him out of there before he crashed the entire franchise
Hopelessly mismanaged the New York Knicks, already mismanaged before he arrived, to new, remarkable lows - a grotesquely bloated salary cap hell loaded with sorry ballplayers to the point where it will probably take them at least 5 spectacular years of management by someone other than Isiah Lord before they will see daylight again
When you hire this man to "manage" your franchise you deserve whatever you get.  Apparently Cablevision, the Knicks' parent company headed by the father of Knicks' CEO James Dolan, doesn't care how much of their capital is pissed away by the boss' son while he continues to learn the hard way how not to operate a business.
Quite simply...astonishing.
And he may get the chance to guard his inmates.  Word is that Thomas may get knocked down from the skyboxes to babysit this team.  If as punishment, Thomas will get to be chided while on the stage....not as he's peering from behind the curtain.  Serves him right.  This entire craphole is his fault. 
Thomas is the one that gave Jerome James a 4-yr $22M deal.....even though he averaged 3 pts and 2 boards per game last year in Seattle.  He's the one that dealt the Knicks top draft pick, which could be the #1 to the #5 pick, to Chicago for Eddy Curry and his heart condition.  He's the one that continues to stock pile players who have had no major team successes in their playing career. 
There is no quick way to fix this thing.  They have nothing of value that would make their team better....save Channing Frye.  But even dealing him along with one of those horrid contracts won't gain them anything too outstanding that would make them credible.  Dealing one of their combo point guards would be nice.....but ya can't trade Francis because, well, look how well the Magic played once Stevie Franchise-Killer left.  Marbury could get some interest, but what team has $18M+ in contracts that they are willing to part with make it happen?  Jamal Crawford is young, but his very long term deal will scare off most teams. 
It doesn't matter.  Thomas will end up dealing away Jalen Rose and his expiring $16.9M contract for $17M worth of crap.  He also will deal away Mo Taylor and his expiring $9.7M contract for some castoff.  Maybe they'll bring in Baron Davis????
No...to fix this mess is just to watch it die and then grow it back down the road.  Keep Brown.  Might as well.  I mean, you will be paying him around $20M to go coach the Sacramento Kings anyways.

1 comment:

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