Nothing in their basketball experience could have prepared Channing Frye, David Lee and Nate Robinson for their wild and wacky rookie season under Larry Brown. The Knicks fired the 65-year-old Hall of Fame coach two weeks ago with $40 million remaining on his contract, and the first player comments since then left little doubt that Brown lost control of the team.
Naturally, the Knicks' trio of 2005 first-round picks praised team president/coach Isiah Thomas yesterday for his positive approach and clear definition of roles in the first four days of practice by the Knicks' summer-league team, which begins play tomorrow. But Frye said last season under Brown was a "circus." Lee questioned his midseason benching, and Robinson, whose showmanship upset Brown, said it felt like the coach "was trying to take my joy."
Frye, who made the NBA all-rookie team in limited playing time, pulled no punches when asked to compare Brown and Thomas.