Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Reacting to the Larry Brown news in Charlotte, Knicks president Donnie Walsh said Brown left the Knicks in a great spot despite the team’s 23-59 record in his one season as coach.
“When a guy has been in it as long as Larry, I don’t think there’s any sadness in him leaving because he’s left so many teams in great position,” Walsh, making his first appearance at a Knicks game since his Nov. 16 hip-replacement surgery, said before the Knicks hosted Oklahoma City Wednesday at MSG. “He left my team in a great position. He’s helped so many franchises that his legacy is taken care of.”
Brown, whose tenure with the Knicks during the 2005-6 season was marred by public feuds with his own players, including point guard Stephon Marbury, stepped down Wednesday as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. He was replaced on an interim basis by Paul Silas.
“Surprised me big time,” Walsh said. “I haven’t talked to him so I don’t know. I don’t know what the circumstances were.”
He added: “He’s had a great, great career. Knowing him it probably hasn’t ended. I know he doesn’t see himself in any other way but as a coach. I’m sure with that team he did the best he could. And I’m sure Michael [Jordan] had to do whatever he did, or Larry left because of his own circumstances. I don’t know enough about it.”
Walsh said Brown was concerned before the season began because Charlotte lost Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
“I talked to him before the preseason and I could tell he was worried because he lost Chander and Raymond,” Walsh said. “But that was it. I watched him and he was making up for it. I think he was doing a great job coaching and then about the last week or so they been getting beat pretty bad, so I don’t know what happened.”
Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni also expressed his regrets over the situation.
“I hate it for him,” he said. “Or it could be a blessing depending on how you look at it for him. But he’s one of the best coaches we have and it happens. Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault. You just need a different voice.
“They’re not going to find a better coach than him, there’s no way. He’s one of the best we have and hopefully if he wants, he’ll keep on going.”
(Photo courtesy Bob Leverone)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.