"I'm in this for the long haul."
--Larry Brown, when asked if he would walk away from the Knicks job at season's end.
That's right Knick fans--it's time for you to take part in one of the most time-honored traditions of 'play-the-right-way' basketball: the frenzied speculation over whether LB will continue to grace your team with his presence next season.
Now during this time, as fans, you are expected to continuously fellate his ego, consuming "stay or go" stories from the Daily News and the Post hourly. You are to wait with bated breath, living or dying with every of Larry's disgusted looks; every seemingly fabricated rumor from out-of-town press; every miserable, monotone post-game press conference (trust me, this happens win or lose). And above all, you are to develop an innate fear of life without Larry and the pitfalls your Knicks will experience without his God-like guidance.
How much worse could it get, you ask? Take it from some fellow New Yorkers:
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.
You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? Good.
Except...it really isn't that bad.
Take it from a jilted Pistons fan; while the man knows a lot about basketball and has a tendency to coax incremental improvements out of pre-established talent bases, there is a comforting silence that accompanies his departure. It is a silence unencumbered by rumors about the Kansas job or overblown indigestion dramas. Look, at 15-42 even Larry won't get you past .500. So if you are just striving for mediocrity, wouldn't it be preferable to toil without the incessant drama?
But this is where you tell me that this is all Isiah's fault, that LB was saddled with a lackluster roster and should take no blame for the team's current state. And that's fine--believe that--you're supposed to. But when Zeke is finally gone and your spirits and expectations skyrocket, don't be surprised if Larry starts mumbling about how special he felt as coach of the Jayhawks, and how he always envisioned himself returning to the college ranks to, you know, complete the circle.
And in the end, with both Isiah and Larry gone, you'll be left with nothing but unfulfilled promise and disappointment...and Steve Francis.