Knicks GM Thomas has already phoned Brown
NEW YORK -- Larry Brown's agent said Wednesday he expects the unemployed coach to make a decision on his future in the next couple of weeks, and the New York Knicks are already hard at work trying to persuade the 64-year-old nomad to settle down at Madison Square Garden.
Knicks president Isiah Thomas spoke to Brown on the telephone Tuesday night, just hours after the Detroit Pistons announced they were parting ways with the coach who led them to the NBA Finals in each of the past two seasons.
A team official told ESPN the two were meeting Thursday in the Hamptons, where Brown is on vacation.
"They talked last night and agreed to meet in person in the next few days," Knicks spokesman Joe Favorito said Wednesday. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Knicks were prepared to offer Brown as much as $60 million over five years.
"It's too soon to have any discussions along those lines. The ink hasn't even dried yet [on his severance package from the Pistons]," said Brown's longtime agent, Joe Glass. "I'm hoping he'll take advantage of the time off, relax, refresh and revitalize."
The Knicks' pursuit of Brown will result in a longer period of limbo for interim coach Herb Williams, who guided the team over the final 43 games of the 2004-05 season after Lenny Wilkens was fired. Williams' head coaching contract expires July 31, though he remains under contract to the Knicks as an assistant coach for the upcoming season.
If Brown decides to turn down the Knicks, or if he chooses to wait a few months before deciding his next move, all indications point to the Knicks retaining Williams for the upcoming season.
Williams, through a team spokesman, declined comment. Brown did not immediately return a call to his summer home in East Hampton, N.Y.
But Thomas has already made it clear who he would prefer to have at the helm, and it's a safe bet that the Knicks would find a place in the organization for Williams, one of their most loyal and longest tenured employees.
"It's early, and there are a lot of things that can happen," Glass said. "A lot of people are concentrating on Isiah and the Knicks, and I wouldn't want to be in [Brown's] shoes, answering 'Where are you going now?"'
"Things take their natural course, and we'll see where this goes."
Throughout the season and the playoffs, Brown insisted he wanted to return to the Pistons if doctors deemed him healthy enough. He underwent two major surgical procedures during the season, then had a third procedure to address a bladder condition shortly after the Pistons lost to San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
All along, Brown said he wouldn't want to lead another NBA team from the sideline. But Brown also told the New York Post in the middle of last season that coaching the Knicks would be a "dream job."
With his departure from Detroit now finalized, that dream could be a lot closer to becoming reality. The next step will likely come after Thomas and Brown have their face-to-face meeting.
"I don't think it'll be a couple of months," Glass said. "I think it'll be a couple of weeks. It certainly won't be couple of days."
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