• If Larry Brown's dismissal occurs before the June 28 draft as expected, there's a chance coach-in-waiting Isiah Thomas will run the bench for at least a couple of games during the Las Vegas summer league in July.

    The Knicks' summer-league team begins play July 7 vs. Cleveland and finishes July 13. The team will hold practices beginning July 2 in Sin City. Though free agency will be underway, the Knicks' president may want to shake off the coaching rust.

    All three of his 2005-06 rookies - Channing Frye, Nate Robinson and David Lee - are expected, as well as his two first-round picks from this draft. There are strong signals Knicks brass will not want the feuding Brown and Thomas in the war room June 28, as the Knicks would become an even bigger national joke than they already are.

    When Thomas was hired to coach Indiana in 2000, he coached its summer-league team. Thomas coached Indiana for three seasons, but hasn't been on the bench since April, 2003.

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