Hearings over, Brown's contract dispute left to Stern

10/5/2006 - NBA New York Knicks

NEW YORK -- It's now up to NBA commissioner David Stern to
decide if Larry Brown is entitled to the remainder of his salary
from the Knicks.

The fired New York coach wrapped up a second day of hearings at
the NBA offices Tuesday. His financial fate now rests in Stern's

After James Dolan fired Brown in June, the Madison Square Garden
chairman refused to pay Brown the $40 million that was left for the
remaining four years. Dolan said he had cause for the firing.

He cited Brown's refusal to follow the company's media policies
and his tendency to overstep his role as coach and get involved in
personnel decisions as key reasons for withholding the coach's

A clause in Brown's contract made Stern the arbiter if there was
any dispute, and the commissioner heard nearly 15 hours of
testimony Friday and Tuesday from Brown's legal team, Garden
officials and other witnesses.

Neither side would comment before or after the hearings. Dolan,
who left nearly an hour before Brown, planned to fly after the
session to Charleston, S.C., where the Knicks opened training camp
Tuesday under Isiah Thomas, Brown's successor.

Thomas attended Friday's hearing but was not required to appear
Tuesday. MSG sports president Steve Mills and senior vice president
of communications Barry Watkins joined Dolan for the second day.

Stern ordered both sides to submit posthearing submissions,
which he will review before ruling on the matter.

There is no deadline for Stern's decision, but it will likely be
more than a week. He is scheduled to leave Wednesday for Europe,
where Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio and the Los Angeles
Clippers are playing exhibition games against foreign teams as part
of the NBA Europe Live tour.

Stern is planning to see games in Italy, Russia, France, Spain,
and Germany. The games begin Thursday and run through Oct. 11.