Isiah Thomas upgraded the roster and added a Hall of Fame coach to the bench, and somehow the Knicks are getting worse by the day.

And since Larry Brown isn't going anywhere and doesn't like the team he inherited, Thomas is committed to changing the players and, according to Brown, Thomas is asking for his input. Brown revealed that Thomas, the Knicks president, told him yesterday to come up with a shopping list of players he wants.


"I spoke to him today," Brown said before the Knicks lost, 96-83, to the Nets at the Meadowlands. "He wanted me to write down what kind of make-up of our team we would like. What kind of guards, forwards, centers.


"I told him I evaluate it every day with my staff (and that) I would be happy to do that. We both want to see us win, and not in the short range either."


The request from Thomas comes the day after former Knick Antonio Davis used words like "circus" and "a mess" when describing the state of the Knicks. Davis, whose last two weeks in a Knicks uniform were certainly circus-like, also said Brown and Thomas need to get on the same page. Davis was traded to Toronto last Friday for Jalen Rose.


"He was giving an opinion, maybe saying Isiah and Larry have different opinions," said Brown, who was Davis' lone supporter in the organization. "I don't know if that's derogatory. I'm telling you that we're on the same page. We're trying to win and we're trying to figure this out. He didn't tell me it was going to be easy when I got the job. And I'm finding that out."


Brown admitted he hasn't done his best coaching job. He has used 29 different starting lineups and has alienated most of the locker room by publicly criticizing individual players. If anyone other than Brown were off to a 14-34 start in New York, he would have probably been fired. Ten years ago, the Knicks fired Don Nelson in his first season with a 34-25 record.


According to a source, Thomas is willing to trade any player Brown deems undesirable, rookies included.


"Isiah wants to make this work and it is not working right now," said a person close to Thomas. "He's not going to fight with Larry. He'll get the players that Larry wants."


Thomas has ongoing conversations with several teams, including the Denver Nuggets, who are looking to trade ex-Net forward Kenyon Martin. The Nuggets want rookie Channing Frye included in the deal. Thomas would trade Frye, but he would insist on getting another player, possibly 6-11 center-forward Nene, in return.

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