07.23.05

Raissman On Brown’s Windfall

Posted in Basketball at 12:47 am by

The words “Larry Brown” and “5 year contract” seem kind of crazy together on the same page, but the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman can see the logic. Sort of.

The Knicks have more guards than Rikers Island.

They have an owner – James Dolan – who won’t (and this is being kind) be winning a popularity contest anytime soon.

And they have a general manager – Isiah Thomas – who has steered the team down the road to irrelevancy, changing philosophy as often as he changes his socks.

The Knicks were once a great show.

Today, they are a lame show.

If this has dawned on Joe Glass, Larry Brown’s agent, he will realize he is selling his client on the cheap. Twelve million dollars a year? Please. Inserting Brown into this mess, which, in the media’s eyes, will make the Knicks relevant again, is worth, well, at least $20 million per.

Analyzing this situation in a vacuum is a foolish exercise. Don’t think of it as some kind of simple equation: Brown + Knicks = X more wins than last season. Figuring out that brain teaser may kill countless hours on sports talk radio, but does not accurately measure the impact Brown would have on the Knicks and the entire Madison Square Garden operation – most importantly, the MSG Network.

Anointing Brown as an out-and-out savior is a reach, but for the Garden he would at least provide short-term salvation, which would be well worth whatever Dolan decides to pay him. Considering the entries in Brown’s resume, the short term is the most appropriate time frame to deal with.

Win or lose, the soap-opera qualities that have surrounded Brown, and some of the teams he’s coached, would make for compelling theater.

Already, there are stories about a possible rift between Brown and Marbury. If he does get the job, Brown will have some kind of spin to defuse this perception. The man is a master media manipulator.

Some of the same commentators who tore into Riley and Jeff Van Gundy after their awkward departures from the Knicks now chronicle all of Brown’s serpentine maneuverings before concluding, “That’s just Larry.”

Talk about living a charmed life.

Now, all the stories tell us about the local guy, at the age of 64, on the verge of coming home and fulfilling his dream of coaching the Knicks. Most of this stuff is nauseatingly corny.

Then again, when was the last time the Knicks have been on the back pages in July? That’s what Larry Brown can do.

And that’s good. Real good for Garden business.

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