Brown eager to move on with career, Knicks

By wire services
Published October 10, 2005

CHARLESTON, S.C. - With center Eddy Curry medically cleared to play, New York Knicks coach Larry Brown now has to worry about himself.

Brown missed 17 games with Detroit last season when he developed a bladder problem after hip surgery. But the Brooklyn native doesn't foresee himself missing any games this season.

"Yeah I think so," Brown said about coaching the entire 82-game schedule. "I'll know a little bit more in the next week or so."

Asked if he felt better than last season during the Pistons' run to the title, Brown laughed and replied, "What day?"

"I feel the same," he said. "You know mentally I had some issues and they're still going to be there, but I'm excited about what I'm doing and moving on."

With all the new players - Quentin Richardson from Phoenix and center Jerome James from Seattle as well as Curry and Antonio Davis from Chicago - coming into the organization, players insist the team is more stable than last season.

"I think our team camaraderie is better now than it was all of last year," guard Jamal Crawford said. "We feel like we let a lot of people down, including ourselves, and we don't want to have that same feeling again."

Crawford and rookie forward Channing Frye credit Brown with bringing all the new elements together.

"We've got the best coach to do that," Crawford said. "Coach Brown really emphasizes passing and playing together. He's the best in the league at getting people to play together."

PACERS: Forward Jermaine O'Neal sat out practice with a right thigh bruise, but expects to play against New Jersey in Tuesday's preseason opener.

O'Neal attended the Pacers' annual FanJam Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse, although he didn't participate in the 20-minute scrimmage. Jeff Foster and David Harrison also sat out the scrimmage with nagging injuries.

"We just thought it would be a good idea to lay off of it today," O'Neal said. "It was the perfect situation for me to rest my leg and get right back at it (today) at practice."

Harrison, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, has been bothered by a pain near his ribs on the right side of his body, and Foster is recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery.

WARDROBE WARS: Asked about the NBA's proposed new dress code asking players to be neat on the bench and dress well on trips with sport coats and collared shirts, Denver's Marcus Camby said, "I don't see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy clothes. Guys who haven't been wearing suits and don't own suits, it will be really hard to get them in time for the season." Camby makes $9.3-million this season.

Dozens have objected. Greg Ostertag said he may wear loud sport coats to sabotage the plan. Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan are among those who have said they don't intend to comply. Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who wears T-shirts, objects.

But Toronto's Matt Bonner expressed the league's concern: "We have the worst image rating out there of all the sports, and I think anything we can do to improve that is good. The dress code's a start."

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Cavs' Donyell Marshall said he's stopped wearing his hair in braids because he's been bothered too much at airports being mistaken for hip-hop artist Ludacris. ... Melvin Ely, who plays for the Bobcats, was robbed outside a Charlotte, N.C., strip club. He went to a neighborhood pawn shop looking for some of the stolen jewelry when "the guy that robbed me walked right in. He saw me and ran out. But his face is on the camera now. I guess there are some dumb crooks." ... The preseason opens at 7 tonight with Cleveland at Washington.