Brown falls ill during game, leaves arena on stretcher

Updated: April 14, 2006, 10:11 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- New York Knicks coach Larry Brown was to be hospitalized overnight after becoming ill in the third quarter of Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Larry Brown
AP Photo/Mark DuncanLarry Brown hasn't reminded Knicks fans of Red Holzman.

The 65-year-old Brown, whose had health issues in recent years, was taken from Quicken Loans Arena on a stretcher following New York's 91-87 loss. He appeared alert and was sitting upright with oxygen tubes in his nose as he was wheeled out to an emergency vehicle. Brown was pale but appeared alert and he was sitting upright with oxygen tubes in his nose as he was wheeled to an emergency vehicle.

Brown didn't say anything while being taken to an undisclosed hospital. The Knicks flew back to New York.

Knicks spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz said Brown was examined by Cavaliers team doctors and a Knicks physician after leaving the bench. Brown's vital signs were "stable," but because his symptoms came on so quickly, doctors felt it was best that he be admimtted to the hospital for further tests and observation.

Supranowitz said Brown had an upset stomach.

"All Larry told me to tell you was that, 'I'm fine,' " Supranowitz said.

The Knicks play at home Friday night against Milwaukee, but it is not known if Brown will be on the sideline.

As Brown was being attended to by medical staff in a room down the hallway from the Knicks locker room, assistant coach Herb Williams and other staff members went in to check on him. Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry and coach Mike Brown also stopped by.

Before the game, Brown was his usual self. He held court with reporters in the corridor and had a brief chat with injured Cavs superstar LeBron James, whom Brown coached on the U.S. team in the 2002 Olympics.

Brown has had a tumultuous first season with the Knicks. He has publicly criticized his players and squabbled with star guard Stephon Marbury. The injuries have piled up as high as the losses for the Knicks, who dropped to 22-56 after blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead to the Cavaliers.

In February, Brown was taken to a Memphis hospital with chest pains but didn't miss any games.

While coaching the Detroit Pistons last season, Brown missed 17 games after having a hip replaced. That operation led to a bladder problem that required surgery in November. Brown needs more surgery for the bladder problem, but he's putting that off until after the season.

The fourth-winningest coach in NBA history and a Hall of Famer, Brown's coaching career has included stops across the basketball map.

He began in the ABA with the Carolina Cougars and later went to the Denver Nuggets before coaching at UCLA and Kansas, where he won an NCAA title in 1988. Brown's NBA odyssey has included stays in Denver, New Jersey, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Brown took the Pistons to the NBA championship in 2003-04.

Brown's health issues had him thinking about not coaching after last season. But the New York native couldn't pass up a chance to the Knicks, who named him their 22nd coach on July 27.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press