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Archive for Thursday, November 9, 2006

Brown settled for $18.5 million

November 9, 2006

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— Larry Brown will get $18.5 million from the New York Knicks, less than half of what the Hall of Fame coach had left on his contract when he was fired.

The NBA team's owner, Cablevision Systems Corp., announced the terms of the dispute Wednesday. Brown had four years and more than $40 million remaining on his deal when the Knicks fired him in June after one season.

The settlement was reached Oct. 30, but the Knicks were forbidden to release the amount that the team agreed to pay Brown. Cablevision, which owns the Knicks through its Madison Square Garden unit, disclosed the amount in its third-quarter report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Knicks, in Denver to play the Nuggets, said they would not comment. Nuggets coach George Karl, a longtime friend of Brown's, also was hesitant to comment, saying he preferred to talk to Brown first.

"I would say the majority interpretation over the last 20 years has been that our contracts are guaranteed unless written differently," Karl said. "I'm too old. I'll do anything the coaches' association or the associates want me to do to support him. My only thing is the respect of our job. Our job is a very difficult job."

The Knicks fired Brown after the team went 23-59 in his only season in New York. Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan refused to pay the remainder of the deal, saying the team had cause to fire Brown for violating MSG policies.

Representatives for Brown and the Knicks testified before NBA commissioner David Stern for more than 15 hours over two days. A clause in Brown's contract made Stern the final arbiter in case of a dispute, but he got the sides to settle in a decision announced Oct. 30.

Stern prevented either side from discussing terms of the settlement.

Cablevision reported a narrower third-quarter loss Wednesday as the cable TV operator signed up more customers for premium services like high-speed Internet access and digital phone.

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