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Props Slaps
 7 years ago '04        #7461
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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oh wow, ppl are actually talking in here again....maybe i'll start posting s**t in here again
 7 years ago '04        #7462
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Alan Hahn

As I surfed through Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, I wondered how Knicks fans are viewing the Tournament this year. Is it harder to watch knowing pretty much all of the top players are out of orange-and-blue consideration because this year's first round pick belongs to the Utah Jazz?

Or do you distract yourself from that reality by scrutinizing the less heralded players to find diamonds in the rough for those two second round picks in Donnie Walsh's pocket?

If you're a hoops junkie, it's impossible not to watch. The basketball isn't as polished (the officiating is certainly awful and often over-the-top) but the passion is intoxicating. Still, it has to be frustrating when a player catches your eye and you hear an annoucer suggest he could be an NBA lottery pick. Scratch him off the list.

But what about that other kid who catches your eye? Smart player, great range, tough kid. Is he a senior? If not, does he have reason to be an early entry? Could he slip to the second round? Perhaps the Knicks could buy another late pick?

[Bloghost note: I refuse to name any names here at this point because there's no reason to speculate off of one game. I am hardly a college hoops expert, so I can't start considering potential targets until I've seen a few games and some video. I refer you all to fellow Fixer Jon Rothstein, who has college basketball on lock].

So what do you do on a night like this, when the Tournament is in full bloom and yet your beloved Knicks are playing the 76ers at the Garden? Let's see: Gonzaga, Duke and Syracuse are on the schedule tonight....then again, Toney Douglas is going up against Lou Williams and that J.R. Giddens kid should get some burn.

As absurd as that just read, I know many of you Fixers are actually torn. And that's what makes you special.

And that's why the greatest a.sset the Knicks have to sell to free agents this summer has nothing to do with the few players they may keep around next season or the coach with the fun system. It isn't even the Garden, itself, as the venerable basketball stage in the heart of the game's mecca.

It's you people who consistently fill the place at a time when, for pretty much every other franchise in the league, it would be mostly empty.

Tonight, of course, it probably will be. As far as I'm told, there are limited tickets available for the Knicks-Sixers epic at the Garden. This means they're limited at the box office, but on StubHub there are 203 listings for the game, ranging from one ticket to four with prices from $19 to four courtside seats for $10K. But from the Knicks perspective, those seats are sold.

And that's something the New Orleans Hornets wish they could say.

In fact, the Knicks not only have the fifth-highest attendance average this season (19,528), they're sixth in capacity percentage (98.8) which is more of a reflection of how many tickets are sold per night. Since every area has a different capacity size, some may fill the building but average less because their building holds less.

In Dallas (104 percent), Portland (102.5), Cleveland (100) and Orlando (100), they are above or at full capcaity. Capacity at Amway Arena is 17,461, which is why the Magic rank behind the Knicks in average attendance.

The Lakers average 18,997, which is 99.7 percent capacity. A sellout at the Garden is 19,763, which is why the Knicks are at 98.8 percent.

Among those top six teams, only the Knicks have a losing record. In the top 10 rankings for capacity percentage, the only the Knicks and Bulls (98.6 percent/20,619) are under .500.

Ask any GM, coach, player and even scout in the league, they'll tell you this is the most intriguing thing about playing in New York. If 19,528 people show up per night for a 24-win season, how popular would this team be in this city if it actually was a winner?

From Feb. 4, 1993 through Nov. 2, 2003, there were 433 consecutive sellouts at the Garden for Knicks regular season and playoff games. I guess as far as attendance goes, 10 years of sellouts is an amazing run for Broadway.

For perspective, since 1988, Phantom of the Opera has packed The Majestic Theater for 8,575 performances, a Broadway record. So not only did the show start it's run before the Knicks sellout streak, it is still going strong well after it.

Patrick Ewing was the leading man during that Knicks era and, all due respect to The Big Fella, who gave his heart-and-soul in every performance, he wasn't really a marquee star away from the game.

Just imagine if one ever did come here and have success. Could the Knicks challenge Phantom?

Maybe they just need the Phantom to work for them in convincing free agents to sign with the Knicks. I heard he can be pretty persuasive.
 7 years ago '04        #7463
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Ric Bucher of ESPN quoted a league source on Thursday when he said that LeBron James might be more interested in coming to the Knicks if they have Hawks' shooting guard Joe Johnson.

"If it's LeBron James they want," Bucher said, "a league source says the Hawks' shooting guard is a very good place to start."
 7 years ago '06        #7464
DRuNk 24/7 6 heat pts
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Bill Walker's post-game was classic...

"I got my hands on a lot of balls...pause."
 7 years ago '04        #7465
Jae_Hood_354 95 heat pts95
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toney "the truth" douglas was on fire in the 4th quarter
 7 years ago '04        #7466
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Toney Douglas led a fourth-quarter rally that propelled the Knicks to a come-from-behind win over the Sixers at Madison Square Garden. Douglas scored 14 of his 22 points in the final period and made two crucial steals down the stretch.

After the game, Mike D'Antoni admitted to being surprised by the clutch play of his rookie point guard.

"That was a pretty good fourth quarter, I know that much," D'Antoni said. "I didn't know he could do that. The guy has a big heart, and you can see that. He has some ice water in his veins."

D'Antoni's coaching decisions have recently come under fire from members of the media and other close observers of the team -- particularly those on RealGM's forums -- who have called his rotations into question.

Despite the Knicks' victory over Philadelphia, Friday was a difficult night for D'Antoni in this regard. Three players who were buried on his bench for the majority of the season turned in noteworthy performances. In addition to Douglas, Jordan Hill and Darko Milicic -- two big men whom Donnie Walsh brought in during the off-season to give the Knicks some much-needed size -- had outstanding games for their respective new teams.

Hill registered 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Rockets; Milicic had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Both players were dealt away on the trade deadline day in February, with the lottery pick Hill sacrificed to help the Knicks shed the contract of Jared Jeffries and Milicic simply dumped in a money-saving move as the former lottery pick was seeing virtually no playing time in New York.
 7 years ago '04        #7467
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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After their acrimonious parting, Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets will be reunited Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. It will be the Knicks’ first meeting with Houston since trading for McGrady in a three-team deal, while dealing the lottery-selection Jordan Hilland Jared Jeffries.

The move, like every move recent Knicks maneuver, was designed to engineer more salary-cap space. On Saturday, McGrady forecast that that the game will hold no special meaning, even though he felt misled by Houston.

“For what I did for the franchise, I felt like I was mistreated, but I’ve moved on from that situation,” said McGrady, who played with the Rockets since 2004, but never lifted them past the first round of the playoffs. “I didn’t cry about it, I didn’t pout about it.

“I felt like I deserved better, but it’s the way it turned out. I was just happy to get this opportunity to get back on the basketball court again. Once that situation was over, then I didn’t think about it no more.”

The rift between McGrady and the organization originated when McGrady opted for microfracture knee surgery in February 2009, ending his season. McGrady said he had informed the organization of his decision. The Rockets said they had no prior warning and learned of it when he posted the news on his personal Web site.

“I was kind of thrown under the bus a little bit with not having a franchise, an organization protecting me from everything that was said about me in the media,” McGrady said. “Nobody really came out and really told the truth, some of the things that were said.”

With the divide planted and the Rockets fresh off a surprising playoff performance in which they took the eventual-champion Los Angeles Lakers to a deciding Game 7 in the second round, McGrady and Coach Rick Adelman disagreed on when he should return this season.

McGrady pushed for an earlier return. He made his season debut Dec. 15 and played less than eight minutes in six consecutive games. McGrady was disappointed his minutes were not steadily increased. The Rockets agreed to facilitate a trade, a process that took nearly two months while McGrady trained in Chicago.

“What I was confused about was why it didn’t increase when I was told it was going to increase,” McGrady said. “That’s what I was confused about.”

Through adrenaline and appreciation of returning onto the court, McGrady scored 26 points in his Knicks debut. But it is clear that he is not the McGrady who made seven All-Star teams. McGrady has topped 20 points only twice in his last 14 games, and he missed one game with knee soreness. Against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, he missed all seven of his shots.

“There’s been some nights where I’ve showed flashes of my old self,” McGrady said. “And there’ve been flashes where I didn’t have it. That’s just what I expected. It’s a tough surgery to come back from and it’s going to take awhile for me to get my legs up under me and for me to totally heal it to 100 percent.”

He has conceded that he will not be his former self this season. Instead, he will use it as a steppingstone to becoming a contributor to a team next season, be it the Knicks or, more likely, another organization. First, though, there is a matchup pitting the scorned player against his former organization.

“But I’m not going to go out and do nothing different that I haven’t been doing in the last few games that I’ve been playing,” McGrady said. “Just because I’m playing Houston, I’m not going to go out and dominate the ball. The same thing I’ve been doing.”
 7 years ago '04        #7468
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Jonathan Bender's return to the NBA is over, at least for this season.

Bender, who signed with the Knicks in December, will have surgery on his broken ring finger and miss the remainder of the year.

He didn't impress during his 25-game stint in New York and the Knicks aren't expected to re-sign him.
 7 years ago '04        #7469
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Jordan Hill says that Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni held him back during his brief tenure with the franchise.

Hill, who was traded to Houston in the Tracy McGrady deal on Feb. 18, was New York's first-round pick last June.

"Coach D'Antoni, he relies on his veterans more than rookies," Hill told the Houston Chronicle. "He feels like his rookies need to learn more their first year so they could get everything down pat. I understood. I just wanted to wait patiently until my time was coming."

In nine games with the Rockets, Hill has averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 15 minutes.

"My chance was here [in Houston] and I'm making the best of it," Hill said. "Fans there [in New York], they know what I can do. I just didn't have the opportunity to show it."
 7 years ago '04        #7470
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Skywalker 2.0 got another nickname, Li'l Zé
 7 years ago '06        #7471
Blah 17 heat pts17
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TD going in again
4 three pointers in the first half
:dancingcool:
 7 years ago '07        #7472
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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Mike D'anphony on why he never played Hill:
“I don’t like to play bad rookies.” D’Antoni said before Houston met the Knicks Sunday at MSG.
 7 years ago '04        #7473
Jae_Hood_354 95 heat pts95
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 - Streetz - said:
TD going in again
4 three pointers in the first half
:dancingcool:
i told yall hes the truth
 7 years ago '06        #7474
DRuNk 24/7 6 heat pts
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Truth B T0ld, you wildin' with that new avatar. You are most definitely amusing if nothing else.

Classic.
 7 years ago '04        #7475
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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word is that Warriors are going to waive Raja Bell and the Knicks will pick him up to give him a last season try-out for the roster next season
 7 years ago '04        #7476
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Marc Berman

LeBron James this summer, Carmelo Anthony next summer?

The Knicks actually are in position to work the 2010-2011 superstar exacta if things fall a certain way.

Anthony, who headlines the 2011 free-agent class, visits the Garden tonight with the powerhouse Nuggets, looking to duplicate the 50 points he hung on the Knicks in Denver on Nov. 28 in a 128-125 win.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh has been on a campaign to alert the team's fans that all the cap room does not have to be filled this July, when the Knicks have space to sign two maximum free agents.
APFUTURE GLIMPSE? Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets visit the Garden tonight.
AP
FUTURE GLIMPSE? Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets visit the Garden tonight.

If they sign one maximum guy such as James or Joe Johnson and re-sign David Lee, they'll probably be in position to have enough room for another maximum player in 2011, with Eddy Curry's $12M coming off the books after next season.

"We got this thing [cap] down under, and now have to manage our cap to the best of our ability, taking into consideration what could be available to us as we go on [each summer]," Walsh told The Post yesterday.

Walsh admits he's not going to waste money on a free agent he's not crazy about just to fill up their 2010 cap space.

"I won't," Walsh promised. "Without in any way encouraging you to write about the names of the 2011 free-agent, class, yes. Of course. We're looking at it over a five-year period."

Anthony has had a breakthrough season, averaging 28.8 points and 6.7 rebounds, looking every bit as good as anyone not nicknamed LeBron James.

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni coached both James and Anthony as an a.ssistant to Mike Krzyzewski on the 2008 gold-medal-winning U.S Olympic Team. D'Antoni probably will coach them again this summer, when Team USA trains in New York.

"I don't want to say he didn't do it before, but with the Olympic experience and being around him, he's turning into a winner," D'Antoni said of Anthony.

"He knows what it takes. He and [Chauncey] Billups are an unbelievable duo and have a shot to win a title. His development as a player on and off court is key. He's one of the best in the league, without a doubt."

Walsh disputes the notion all his eggs are in the July 2010 basket. He says he never promised he'd build a championship team in one summer.

In defending his strategy of tanking the last two seasons to get under the cap starting in 2010, Walsh said, "Something had to be done. We were doing the same thing over the years and were in a snag and couldn't go any further.

"That's why I did it. I still think management of the cap will be important to every franchise as you go forward each summer. Not because of the money involved, but you can get yourself in a totally inflexible position. I'm trying to avoid that."

Tonight, Anthony will be defended by Knicks prospect Danilo Gallinari, who's deemed key in recruiting guys like Anthony. Gallinari recently asked D'Antoni following the trade of defensive specialist Jared Jeffries if he can defend the opponent's best perimeter player.

"I've always guarded the best [in Italy]," Gallinari said. "It's part of learning, trying to understand at which point I am and what I can do to get at that level.

"I like the challenge and want to play against the best."

D'Antoni wouldn't have agreed to give Gallinari the a.ssignment if he thought he'd embarrass himself. Though Gallinari has had a slew of very disappointing offensive stretches this season, he has mostly been adequate defensively, which was a big worry.
 7 years ago '07        #7477
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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Gallinari gets last word as Knicks top 'Melo, Nuggets

[pic - click to view]



Danilo Gallinari and Carmelo Anthony trading verbal barbs and clutch baskets in a battle of high-octane scorers.

In the end, Anthony took the individual scoring battle, but Gallinari and the Knicks won the war.

Toney Douglas hit a clutch late jumper and Gallinari added two foul shots with 18.1 seconds left as the Knicks edged the Nuggets, 109-104, before a sellout crowd of 19,763 at Madison Square Garden that included Magic Johnson, Chloe Sevigny and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Gallinari scored 17 of his team-high 28 points in the third quarter, when the Knicks (26-45) outscored the Nuggets 34-21 after trailing 53-49 at the break.

"Talking is a great part of basketball," Gallinari said of his back-and-forth with Anthony. "If you don't talk, you cannot play basketball. We played a great game and we won."

Anthony finished with a game-high 36 points on 14-for-26 shooting but missed a layup down the stretch and a 3-pointer in the final seconds. After J.R. Smith missed two more 3-pointers in the final seconds, Anthony had some words of encouragement for Gallinari as the two huddled after the game.

"He just said, 'Great job, keep playing hard. Keep ballin'," Gallinari said of Anthony.

"It was kind of fun for me to see him actually hold his ground and not back down," Anthony said. "He was actually talking back to me out there, too, which I was kind of surprised."

Perhaps overshadowed by the mano-a-mano battle between Gallo and 'Melo was the terrific game put forth by Douglas, the Knicks' rookie point guard. He finished with 16 points, seven a.ssists and two turnovers despite accumulating three fouls through three quarters.

The Nuggets were without head coach George Karl, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer. He won't make any portion of the team's five-game road swing and reportedly could be out until the playoffs.

"Hopefully when we get back off this road trip [we'll see him]," Anthony said. "We just want him to keep taking care of what's first, which is his health."

Denver (47-24) entered the night No. 2 in the Western Conference by one game over Dallas and leading its division by 1 1/2 games over Utah.

Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin (patella tendonitis) missed his ninth straight game and 11th overall.

"We're a better defensive team when he's out there, a better team when he's out there," acting Nuggets coach Adrian Dantley said before the game. "But injuries are a part of the game. Look at all the teams in the league that got injuries. Fortunately, we've been doing pretty good so far."

After getting down 14-2 to start the game, the Knicks were fueled by Al Harrington's 14 points off the bench and trailed just 26-23 after one quarter.

Denver led 53-49 at the break on 21 points from Chauncey Billups, who finished with 25 points and was 14-for-15 from the line.

But the game turned when the Knicks outscored Denver 34-21 in the third period to take an 83-74 lead. Gallinari poured in 17 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Douglas had seven a.ssists in the quarter, five to Gallinari. Six of Douglas' a.ssists in the period went for 3-pointers.

"He's got a lot better from when he first came in," Anthony said of Gallinari. "I think a lot of people turned their heads on him. His second year that he came back and I think he's coming along big time."

Gallinari showed he could do more than just shoot from long range when he drove the baseline for a nifty reverse layup and then hit a foul shot to put the Knicks up 97-88 with 5:25 remaining.

After Smith hit a 3-pointer to cut Denver's deficit to 102-101, Gallinari hit two foul shots for a 104-101 lead.

Smith canned another 3-pointer to make it 105-104 in favor of New York.

After Harrington lost possession under the Knicks' basket, Anthony took him one-on-one to the hole on the other end, but missed a short jumper off the iron and Harrington came down with it.

After a New York timeout, Douglas took Nene one-on-one, stepped in and then back before draining a jumper for a 107-104 lead with 27.8 seconds left.

"I think he was more aggressive and took smarter shots," Tracy McGrady (15 points) said of Douglas.

Anthony becomes a free agent in the summer of 2011 and Knicks president Donnie Walsh could opt to save some of his $30 million-plus in salary-cap space to pursue Anthony then.

"I really don't know what's gonna happen next year," Anthony said. "I'm the year after. I don't know what's gonna happen. But I don't see why nobody wouldn't want to play here, in New York."
 7 years ago '04        #7478
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Alan Hahn

Donnie Walsh hasn't even gotten to see his 2010 Plan to fruition yet and already it's being suggested that he's looking toward 2011. So I asked him if this was true. Are you thinking about the free agents who may be available in 2011?

"No," he said. "Not now."

Three-plus months of speculation and conjecture await between now and when we see what will come of this summer's $30 million spending spree. In the meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets will do all they can to make sure Carmelo Anthony isn't an option for the Knicks in 2011, when it is possible the New York franchise will have enough cap space to make another major contract offer.

A highly-placed source within the Nuggets brain trust told be the team will most certainly work to lock up Carmelo with a contract extension this summer to avoid what the Cavs, Heat, Raptors, Suns and Hawks are about to deal with.

'Melo appears quite happy in Denver and has a championship-caliber foundation there with all-star point guard Chauncey Billups, a terrific coach in George Karl and a franchise with a great fan base and a wealth of money to keep the team competitive.

He, like most of the star players who aren't up this summer, seems amused by the excitement and anticipation of the 2010 free agent class.

"I don't know what's going to happen next year," he said.

His opt-out is in 2011. It leaves $18.5M on the table if he exercises it and he offered no resistence to the belief that he intends to do it when he reminded, "I'm the year after."

Technically, he's really 2012, when the contract officially expires. But he is not only clearly aware of the opt-out, he considers it the end of his deal.

Carmelo was born in New York, though he's hardly a real New Yorker. He's from Baltimore -- West Baltimore, actually, as noted by his "WB" (Warner Bros. logo) tattoo -- so his real hometown team would be the Wizards.

But, of course, the Knicks are New York. And there's also the Garden.

And as Carmelo said, "I don't see why nobody wouldn't want to play here."

If that is the case, the Knicks will get all they need in 2010, which means Carmelo won't need to be an option in 2011.

* * *

* - It is absolutely probable that Raja Bell will be among free agent candidates the Knicks will consider this summer as depth signings (as long as the price is right). But don't expect the Knicks to bring in Bell before the end of this season. In fact, a person with knowledge of the situation said "there is no motivation now" to sign Bell before the end of the season.

First of all, Bell isn't yet healthy to play. Second, there are only 11 games left and the minutes right now belong to young players such as Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens. It wouldn't make any sense at all to bring in a veteran off an injury for five games.
 7 years ago '04        #7479
Born_Loser|M 91 heat pts91
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Alan Hahn

We've mostly heard about Chris Bosh being the big whom the Knicks would target in this summer's two-star rebuild plan. Joe Johnson/Chris Bosh has most often been promoted in media reports as a probable dynamic duo.

But Amar'e's play this season -- and the torrid run he's been on over the last few weeks (oh and have you seen The Dunk?) -- has to have caught the Knicks' attention. Bosh is certainly a talent and putting up great numbers this season, but there is a reasonable level of concern about his personality being right for the intensity of New York. Stoudemire, who re-tweeted himself to double promote a link to the aforementioned dunk, seems to thrive on attention and coverage.

And as he's come back after a serious eye injury, which almost cost him his career, Stoudemire's game is back to being as physically dominant as any big man in the game.

Now we all know LeBron James is the main target, that is, if he decides he does want to leave Cleveland. What we also know is that LeBron did everything he could to get the Cavaliers to trade for Amar'e Stoudemire before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. The Cavs almost gave up a talented youngster in J.J. Hickson just to make it happen.

Imagine that tandem for a second. The power and athleticism of both players would be something the NBA has never seen on the same team. Just imagine seeing those two roaring at you on a 2-on-1. In fact, even if it were a 2-on-3, you might still have reason to believe they have numbers.

As a pick-and-roll duo, it could be literally unstoppable. LeBron's ability (and, more importantly, willingness) to pass and Amar'e's ferocious ability to finish not only on the cut, but also with a mid-range touch, would be a defensive nightmare that would make even Tom Thibodeau wake in a cold sweat.

Really, how do you guard that? Don't hedge on the screen? Go under?

Switch?

Yeah, that'll work.

Ray Lewis and Jonathan Vilma couldn't even guard that.

Here's the thing: I know Ric Bucher, a well-connected veteran from the Worldwide Leader, recently reported a source telling him the key to luring LeBron would be Joe Johnson. But I'm telling you the key to LeBron might actually be Amar'e.

Now, yes, Mike D'Antoni factors in here. First, of course, Amar'e has thrived playing in the pick-and-roll, spread-offense system in Phoenix (which Alvin Gentry now runs in D'Antoni's wake). Now, we all remember how Amar'e was one of the few Suns who didn't seem all that broken up by D'Antoni's departure in May 2008. In fact, Stoudemire spoke in past tense about D'Antoni before he and the Suns had even agreed to part ways.

And after D'Antoni left, Stoudemire wasn't very complimentary of D'Antoni in interviews with both Dime and SLAM.

But a Stoudemire confidant told me tonight that Stoudemire maintains a great deal of respect for his former coach (and, despite typical frustrations, D'Antoni has always privately praised Stoudemire as a tremendous talent).

And, yes, their relationship will matter come July when Stoudemire considers his options as a free agent. Staying in Phoenix is a large part of the equation, but it sounds like Stoudemire's main concern with the Suns is how much they are committed to keeping the team at a contending level after Steve Nash's contract runs out in 2012. If he's not convinced, then he'll look to teams with cap space and a plan. The Nets and Bulls don't even have coaches.

But when it comes to the Knicks, what would have to come first? LeBron to attract Amar'e or Amar'e to attract LeBron?

What would you say if I told you neither?

See, if we're to be resigned to the belief that LeBron won't leave Cleveland -- even if he dips his foot in the free agency pool -- then, Fixers, you should know this fact: Amar'e and Joe Johnson are also very tight.

* * *

* - I am officially a Butler fan for the rest of the tournament. Any team with a kid named Zach Hahn I must root for, since that's my son's name, too. In fact, since I'll be in Salt Lake City this weekend, I've offered my services to Newsday to cover the West Region Final between the Bulldogs and Kansas State on Saturday.
 03-29-2010, 10:52 AM         #7480
dre4dollas 
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