Atlanta — In lieu of Larry Brown, who hasn't spoken not only since Monday's contract settlement but in weeks since his car-side intersection chats this summer outside the Knicks' training site, members of his vast basketball network speak for him.
Friday his brother, Herb, a Hawks assistant coach, and head coach Mike Woodson, a former Larry Brown assistant in Detroit, checked in, pronouncing him "relieved" that his tumultuous time with the Knicks is officially over.
"I didn't talk to him about the settlement, I swear to you, and I did not talk to him about his future plans," said Herb Brown, who like Woodson, dined with his brother before the Hawks' season-opening loss Wednesday in Philadelphia. "Whatever happened is over and he's enjoying his family."
"He's totally relieved," Woodson said. "Now he can move on, and if he's going to continue to coach or whatever he decides to do, which I don't really know at this point, I'm sure he will do that."
Yet, Woodson finds himself in a different position than Herb Brown, for he also has ties to Isiah Thomas, as both played at Indiana University. Thomas may be oil to Larry Brown's vinegar, but Woodson also considers him a friend and admitted, "It's odd.
"I'm not here to choose. I'm friends with Larry, very close with Larry Brown and I'm very close with Isiah. Unfortunately, things just didn't work out. It's sad to see that happen because I think both of them are good people."
Herb Brown, though, has no torn allegiances, saying he wanted to work with his brother in New York last season, but suggesting he couldn't - likely because of Thomas.
"He's my brother and blood is thicker than water," Herb Brown said. "It's no fun when a coach goes through any kind of a situation. But when it's your brother, it's a little bit closer to home."
What both Woodson and Herb Brown don't know, however, is what Larry Brown will do without anything to do at the start of a basketball season for the first time in ... forever, as he's either played or coached every season since his high school days in the '50s - and likely before that.
"Basketball to coaches, and I think to players, too, it becomes a narcotic," Herb Brown said. "Not to be able to do it, there's got to be some sort of withdrawal."
In fact, Larry Brown spent some time at the Hawks' training camp "evaluating," Woodson said, adding, "He's invited any time. He can come and sit on my bench if he wants to. ... It's an open-door invitation."
"Knowing him the way I do, it's going to be a tough adjustment," Herb Brown said, "and I really don't know what he's going to do. I absolutely have no idea at all."