Brown is a hockey fan

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

New York Knicks coach Larry Brown, who brings his red-hot team to the Air Canada Centre Sunday for a game against the Raptors, might want to check into town tomorrow to say hello to Wayne Gretzky.

Seems the legendary bench boss has a love for hockey, which he proudly displayed Wednesday when he wore a Mark Messier Rangers sweater, before and after his team's game, to honour the ex-captain's retirement ceremony tonight.

"The thing that always makes me partial to guys like (Messier), all hockey players, is all they ever talk about is team," Brown told the Bergen Record. "They give credit to teammates, they room together, they eat together, they always talk about what great teammates they have and he's always been somebody everybody mentions as being such a special leader. That's something that's pretty incredible."

Brown said it is not the same in basketball.

"I think our league spends so much time talking about individual players," he said. "Christmas was kind of fun when they talked about San Antonio playing Detroit. I wish we could get back to that more. They don't ever lose sight of that in hockey.

"I was involved in a championship and obviously that was an incredible, special feeling for me. But I just remember reading and hearing what hockey players think about the Stanley Cup, the fact that they can take it home, show their friends and what it obviously has meant. I'm not so sure all our guys until later on in their career, they realize what it means to be part of a championship team."

Brown also had a sarcastic suggestion for the NBA.

"It's almost like I think we ought to have those quarterback jerseys when we play games," he said. "Four guys wear one uniform and one guy's got a special jersey. Sometimes I wonder if the officials don't see that."

BRIEFLY

Point guard Tierre Brown, who had some good games with the Raptors in the pre-season, has signed with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the development league ... Vince Carter's new shoe -- Nike Sox VC five -- arrived in stores yesterday. Plenty available at your favourite Toronto retailer.


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