Knicks coach Brown works out draft prospects

Updated: May 22, 2006, 10:08 PM ET
Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Larry Brown showed up at the New York Knicks' training center Monday to work out four prospective draft picks, an otherwise routine coaching duty made remarkable by one thing: that he was there at all.

In his first day on the job since reports surfaced last weekend that owner James Dolan may buy out his contract, Brown worked closely with team president Isiah Thomas to put the possible draftees through their paces.

But with the media prohibited from witnessing the workouts or talking to Brown, it was left to those players to relay the interactions between the coach and Thomas -- who reportedly could replace Brown if he's booted after just one season.

"I really don't know too much about it, but at the same time they are doing a great job of hiding whatever thing is going on," North Carolina forward David Noel said. "So for the most part, we just went out there and worked out and they did a great job of working us out."

A day after the Knicks finished their 23-59 season, Brown and Thomas said the Hall of Fame coach would be back next season. Even if that is no longer the case, Brown -- recovered from recent surgery -- didn't seem to act any differently Monday.

"Just by him showing up I think it shows that he still cares for the Knicks organization," Noel said. He said the coach and president were "definitely working as a cohesive unit" during the workouts.

Indiana forward Marco Killingsworth, Seton Hall's Kelly Whitney and Leonardo Dos Santos of Brazil were the other players who worked out.

The Knicks own the 20th and 29th picks in the first round -- though not their own. They traded the rights to that pick to the Chicago Bulls before the season in the deal for center Eddy Curry.

The Bulls will have the second-best chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday's draft lottery because the Knicks finished with the NBA's second-worst record.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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