Larry Brown does not plan to coach the Knicks' final two games because of acid reflux, ESPN learned Monday morning.
The Knicks took out an insurance policy on Brown's contract that would free the team from paying the remainder of the coach's contract if he's forced to resign due to health issues, the New York Daily News reported Monday.
The newspaper, citing an anonymous league source, reported that the Knicks made the move when Brown signed his record five-year, $50 million contract. The newspaper also said the contract would not prevent Brown from taking another NBA or college job if he and the Knicks part ways.
Brown, 65, didn't travel to Detroit, where the Knicks lost 103-97 on Sunday. He was hospitalized Thursday night in Cleveland with a stomach ailment after becoming ill during the Knicks' 91-87 loss to the Cavaliers. He returned home Friday, but assistant coach Herb Williams ran the team in a 97-80 loss to Milwaukee.
Williams said he spoke to Brown during the past few days and said the head coach sounded "OK."
The Knicks are 22-59, the worst record in the Eastern Conference, after losing to the Charlotte Bobcats 98-91 on Monday. They end their season Wednesday at New Jersey.
Williams again replaced Brown, who will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
"I just spoke to Coach, sent him my condolences, let him know that my family and I are praying for him," said guard Stephon Marbury, who has feuded with Brown this season. "This is a tough situation for him and his family, so everybody's been worried about him."
While coaching the Pistons last season, Brown missed 17 games after having a hip replaced. That operation led to a bladder problem that required surgery in November. Brown needs more surgery for the bladder problem, but he's putting that off until after the season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.