Sam SpiegelmanLarry Brown and the New York Knicks didn’t exactly have a clean breakup. Apparently, the longtime NBA coach and current SMU head man isn’t exactly fond of the organization’s treatment of Mike Woodson either.
In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Brown made a case that new team president Phil Jackson should give Woodson a chance to leave “graciously,” citing Woodson’s efforts to turn around the franchise:
“I’m sick about what’s happening with Michael (Woodson),” Brown said of Woodson. “The whole thing about the Knicks, I want the Knicks to be great, because the NBA needs it badly. They have the best fans.”
“He’s out on the limb and that’s not fair,” Brown added. “For a guy that really turned that franchise around and made people proud of the way they played, I don’t think he’s been treated fairly, and that really bothers me.”
“I think he went [18-6] when he took over that team two years ago. And then last year they won 54 games. I think from 2001 they might’ve won one playoff series. He’s done a remarkable job.
“They’ve had terrible injuries. They lost a GM (Glen Grunwald) that I thought did a great job. And then they didn’t bring any older guys. When you lose Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace, you lost your locker room. He did a lot for that team, and that’s unfortunate — I don’t think you treat people like that. And in the long run there is bad karma when you do that.”
If the Knicks are to make a change at head coach, which is expected to be the case this offseason, Brown nominated Jackson.
Jackson has already stated he has no plans to return to the sidelines. In fact, reports indicate NBA analyst and former Bulls point guard Steve Kerr is the frontrunner at this point. But Brown isn’t convinced Jackson can be an asset to the organization if he’s spending half of his time on the West Coast.
“Let him coach,” Brown said of Jackson. “You’re not going to make the Knicks better by living in L.A. and being there half the time and not talking to your coach. Let him coach. He was the best coach probably ever. Let him coach. If that’s the way they want to do it, let him coach and give Woody a way to leave graciously.”
It seems like Brown is just backing a friend and former colleague in Woodson, but at the same time he’s putting unfair pressure on Jackson.
Your thoughts, Knicks fans?