Larry Brown From Record-Breaking Contract To Swift Departure


Nineteen years ago today, on June 28, 2005, Larry Brown made headlines by becoming the highest-paid coach in NBA history. The New York Knicks signed him to a five-year deal worth between $50 and $60 million, a staggering amount at the time. Brown, a Hall of Fame coach with a storied career, was expected to bring his championship pedigree to a struggling Knicks franchise.

Brown’s coaching resume was impressive. He had led the Detroit Pistons to an NBA championship in 2004 and had a reputation for turning teams into contenders. The Knicks, desperate for a turnaround, saw Brown as the perfect fit to revive their fortunes. The contract reflected their confidence in his abilities and their willingness to invest heavily in a proven winner.

However, the partnership between Brown and the Knicks quickly soured. The 2005-2006 season was marred by internal conflicts, inconsistent performances, and a lack of cohesion on the court. The Knicks finished with a dismal 23-59 record, one of the worst in the league. Brown’s coaching style, which emphasized discipline and defense, clashed with the team’s roster and management.

The situation reached a breaking point less than a year into Brown’s tenure. On June 22, 2006, the Knicks decided to part ways with their high-profile coach. The decision was costly, as the Knicks agreed to an $18.5 million settlement to buy out the remaining years of Brown’s contract. This abrupt end to his tenure was a stark contrast to the high hopes that had accompanied his arrival.

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