Best New York–bred coach not coaching in New York (2008)

Larry Brown

Only a year ago, New York's own Larry Brown was hailed as the savior of the city's hallowed pro-basketball franchise, the Knickerbockers. Then he got in Dutch with the Dolans, the cable barons who are currently messing up various New York sports franchises. The Knicks' general manager, Isiah Thomas, put the ol' crossover move on his fellow point guard. In a rare twist, the peripatetic Brown didn't flee a good situation— he got fired from a bad one. It seemed so perfect: A native of Long Beach, where his pop ran a TV repair store, Brown matriculated at the University of North Carolina in the '50s and had a fine career as a clever little guard. He was even better as a coach, preaching about playing the game "the right way," backing up his talk at several stops, and finally putting the finishing touches on a Piston powerhouse. After fouling his NBA nest in Detroit he came home to New York to coach the Knicks. Madison Square Garden, the Valhalla of basketball, was a dream come true for Brown. But his "right way" ran into the Dolans' wrong way, and he was then shown the highway.


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