2006_03_showard.jpgWhy fight with one point guard when you can fight with two? Larry Brown decided to start a brawl with Steve Francis by benching him for the final three quarters of the Knicks 111-87 loss to the Magic. Francis was playing his first game in Orlando since being traded to the Knicks in February.

While Francis certainly didn’t play well, it is impossible to understand what Brown was hoping to accomplish by humiliating him. Brown has destroyed his relationship with Stephon Marbury and now seems bent on destroying relationships with the entire team. How else can you explain benching Jalen Rose for three quarters as well? Tough love is certainly a coaching style that can work, but 65 games into the season seems a strange time to start using it. While the Knick’s players deserve plenty of blame for this disaster of a season, the coach has to be accountable for actually making things worse. It’s hard to imagine Herb Williams being as divisive a presence as Brown has and at this point we can only wonder who will quit first; Brown or all of the players?

Photo by Phelan Ebenhack/AP via ESPN