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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '07        #10221
Chief|m 54 heat pts54
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i came here for the GOONIN'










but i'm staying for the COONIN'
 4 years ago '04        #10222
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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 Chixf Xscx said:
i came here for the GOONIN'










but i'm staying for the COONIN'
it's a beautiful thing
 4 years ago '04        #10223
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS — The Andrea Bargnani Era begins Wednesday with the Knicks, and the J.R. Smith Era formally rages on at least three more years at the Garden.

The Bargnani trade and Smith’s four-year, $24.7 million deal will finally be announced Wednesday, when the NBA’s free-agency signing period begins.

The Knicks were fairly lucky no team made an offer that blew Smith out of the water, according to his brother, Chris Smith.

“He’s better than a lot of guys who got bigger checks than him,’’ Chris Smith said at the Knicks’ first summer-league practice. “He’s a humble guy. He’ll keep working and we’ll see next time free agency comes around.’’

Chris Smith will be the Knicks summer-league team’s starting point guard after rehabbing from a knee patella tear suffered last training camp. J.R. Smith will come here this week to watch the first two games.

J.R. Smith has an opt-out after the third year. His market value took a hit after a poor postseason.

“His mood is great,’’ Chris Smith said of his brother. “He’s ready and willing and going to make his best run at a championship. Hopefully the Knicks come out on top and I’m a part of it.

“My goal is to get to training camp, make the team and have the brotherly tandem everyone’s talking about.’’

The cap-strapped Knicks are struggling to sign free agents from other teams and yesterday learned from agent David Falk they are no longer in the running for power forward Elton Brand. An NBA source said Brand’s market has risen higher than the Knicks can offer — the story of their summer.

Unless Metta World Peace decides not to retire, the Bargnani/Smith acquisitions will serve as the Knicks’ biggest splashes. The 7-foot sweet-shooting Italian didn’t live up to the enormous hype as the No. 1 overall pick in Toronto, but the Knicks believe he will thrive in the Big Apple without the grandiose expectations.

The Knicks haven’t been able to comment about Bargnani. According to a person familiar with their thinking, the franchise views Bargnani’s game sinking in Toronto his final three years as being related to Chris Bosh departing for the Heat.

Forced to be the biggest name on the club and the top scoring option, Bargnani wilted after enjoying his best days as second fiddle to Bosh.

With the Knicks, Bargnani will be at best a second option, maybe less. Carmelo Anthony has J.R. Smith, his wingman last season, and point guard Raymond Felton. Not that the Knicks don’t have big plans for Bargnani.

Bargnani might not start, but they envision him finishing games as a primary option down the stretch, especially when Smith is floundering. The Knicks also feel Bargnani’s presence will allow their offense to run at a faster tempo. They love his range and feel he can score in the low post.

“He’s a skilled big who can score around the basket and it will take weight off Tyson [Chandler],’’ Chris Smith said.

The Knicks were desperate for another big man who can score alongside Chandler. That’s because there are plans to put Amar’e Stoudemire on restrictions next season — possibly at 20 minutes a night and a major limit on him playing in back-to-backs.

The trade couldn’t become official until today due to Quentin Richardson’s sign-and-trade inclusion. Former longtime Olympia Milano head coach Dan Peterson said he thinks the Knicks hit the jackpot with Bargnani.

“I think the move to the Knicks is ideal for Andrea,’’ Peterson, who coached Mike D’Antoni in Italy said. “He’s been in Toronto for seven years and there are times when a player needs a fresh start.“I’ve always felt he was hurt by being the No. 1 pick in that one year [2006] when the high-school players all had to go one year to the NCAA. If [Greg] Oden and [Kevin] Durant and others would have been in that draft, Bargnani would not have gone No. 1 and would not have been weighed down by expectations.

“The Knicks won’t have to deal with that. They didn’t get him because he was No. 1. They got him because they think he can help them. Period.’’

Bargnani is in New York meeting with Knicks brass. He’s slated to play for the Italian National Team in the European Championships that begin Sept. 4.
 4 years ago '04        #10224
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS — Ron Artest Sr. is hoping if his son, Metta World Peace, is waived today via the amnesty rule, he will attempt to finish his career with the Knicks.

Nevertheless, Artest Sr. said as of last night, World Peace is seriously considering retiring instead of finishing his NBA career in the Big Apple.

Artest Sr. told The Post his son’s strong preference is to remain with the Lakers and he may decide to end his career instead of signing with the Knicks, because he does not want to uproot his kids in Los Angeles.

According to an Orange County Register report, the Lakers intended to waive World Peace. Subsequent reports stated no decision had been made. Kobe Bryant took to twitter Monday night, stating the club should keep World Peace and try to win a title with what they have.

Earlier in the day, Artest Sr. said, “He wants to stay with the Lakers for a couple of more years but if not, he wants to finish his career in New York if he can. This would be full circle.

By last night, the son was having a change of heart, feeling retirement would be best.

“I know he said he doesn’t want to play with a team like Milwaukee or Minnesota,’’ Artest Sr. said.

The Knicks are in search of a defensive small forward off the free-agent market and World Peace is intriguing to them. The Queensbridge product would seek the $1.4 million veteran’s minimum, which is basically what the Knicks have to offer. (They also have the remaining $1.7 million left of their mini mid-level.)

Artest Sr. said he still was hoping his son doesn’t retire and comes home.

“Let’s hope and pray it happens,’’ Artest Sr. said.

In 1999, the Knicks infamously passed on the former Ron Artest with their first-round pick to select French center Frederic Weis. The Lakers would save a good deal in salary and luxury tax, as World Peace is scheduled to making $7.7 million in his final season.

The Knicks and Nets would not get first crack at World Peace; teams under the cap would be eligible to bid on him first.

* The Knicks worked out 37-year-old veteran swingman Raja Bell Monday at their practice facility. One of Mike D’Antoni’s favorites, Bell skipped the 2012-13 season. ... With so many forward targets falling by the wayside, the Knicks have kept tabs of Hawks combo forward Anthony Tolliver, a good defender with 3-point range. But Tolliver is waiting on an offer from Atlanta.

* Iman Shumpert may only play the first three Summer League games. ... The Sixers named former Garden president Scott O’Neil as CEO. O’Neil stepped down last summer from the Knicks and faces a rebuilding project in Philadelphia, as he did when he started at MSG.

“You’ll see good growth,’’ O’Neil said. “We have a lot of tickets to sell, the sponsorship base needs to be grown. It’s the early stage. The fun is in the growth.’’

Asked about working for James Dolan, O’Neil said, “I’d work for him again.’’
 4 years ago '08        #10225
AC_89 185 heat pts185
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Luxury tax is $71.748 million. Amar'e, Melo, Tyson, Felton and Bargnani will make about $71.8 million



[video - click to view]

 4 years ago '04        #10226
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Putting it out there, Amundson is officially a free agent
 4 years ago '04        #10227
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just gonna leave this here

@MettaWorldPeace

I love Hiking!!! Come join me!!


[pic - click to view]

 4 years ago '04        #10228
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Rodrigue Beaubois is now being considered
 4 years ago '05        #10229
WaveDoe 12 heat pts12
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 Born_Loser said:
Rodrigue Beaubois is now being considered
Whyyyyyyyyyyyy though,

sign jr draft hardaway jr, prig locked in....and considering beaubois?

man i swear
 4 years ago '04        #10230
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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 WaveDoe said:
Whyyyyyyyyyyyy though,

sign jr draft hardaway jr, prig locked in....and considering beaubois?

man i swear
they want a 3rd PG and Hardaway will be used as a 2/3

i'm not with this signing since there's clearly more talent out there at the point
 4 years ago '04        #10231
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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for the most part, NYK is waiting for more teams to release/waive/get rid of talent
 4 years ago '04        #10232
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS — Tim Hardaway Jr. believes the Knicks netted two first-round picks during the June 27 NBA Draft.

The Knicks selected the Michigan shooting guard star at No. 24, and in a pleasant surprise to the organization, they were able to sign North Carolina State’s C.J. Leslie after he fell out of the draft.

The Knicks had the athletic 6-foot-9 combo forward on their board at 24. Hardaway and Leslie will debut tomorrow for the Knicks summer league team at UNLV.

“We played against each other in the [Big Ten]-ACC game,’’ Hardaway said. “He is really athletic. Played with a pro in John Wall [in prep school]. He got talent, athleticism, skill and potential to be a great player in this league. I’m surprised really [he fell out of the draft]. I thought he’d be drafted in the first round.’’

Leslie, who averaged 15.1 points his junior year, said the Knicks told him they were looking to trade up a few spots in the draft for him with the a.ssumption Hardaway would be gone.

“I was definitely surprised,’’ Leslie said. “I think everybody was surprised. It adds fuel to the fire. But I’m just trying to get past that draft.’’

Leslie said he only worked out for the Knicks and the Suns because of a jammed ligament in his hip that still isn’t 100 percent. He shut it down after the Knicks workout and that could have scared off some teams.

Scouts have told The Post Leslie occasionally didn’t have a high motor during games.

About seven teams looked to sign Leslie, but he chose the Knicks, who offered him a two-year deal at the league minimum.

“I felt like I connected with the coaches the most,’’ Leslie said. “I turned down better offers.’’

Regarding the scouting skeptics, Leslie said, “Every game I was supposed to show up in I showed up in. I don’t think it’s a question of my talent. I don’t know if they have a wrong impression. Stuff gets spread that’s not necessarily true. ‘’

Coach Mike Woodson said Leslie still has “a long ways to go.’’

* Woodson confirmed a Post report Amar’e Stoudemire will be on a minutes restriction next season.

The Knicks had talked about a 20-minute cap limit on the forward, and they also discussed limiting his playing in back-to-back games.

“Right now, as it stands, he’s going to be on some restrictions,’’ Woodson said. “What those restrictions will be, I don’t know yet.’’

Woodson said the Knicks are taking a new approach to Stoudemire this offseason, having him rest all summer instead of working out.

“The main thing with Amar’e, he needed rest,’’ Woodson said. “Last summer, he put in a lot of time. He worked his [butt] off last summer.’’

* Iman Shumpert was excused from the first two days of practices. Woodson said he would like to see him play some point guard during summer league. .... Forward Tyrus Thomas was waived by Charlotte and could be a Knicks target. ... Woodson confirmed Carmelo Anthony will not need shoulder surgery. Anthony said on June 27 surgery was no longer an option.

* Woodson on the Hardaway pick: “I was happy he was there when we picked. I think he’s got a high motor about him with a jump shot.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10233
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS - Saying he is “really starving to win’’, 7-foot Italian center Andre Bargnani believes he is joining a Knicks franchise that is destined to go far in the playoffs.

During a morning conference call, Bargnani sounded super excited about the change of scenery his trade from Toronto has brought. Bargnani even called his Raptors years “a weird experience.’’

Though Bargnani faced tons of pressure in Toronto because he was the No.1 overall pick, he will be under the microscope here because he’s essentially the Knicks’ marquee addition of summer. Still, at least he has Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to take the load off.

“I’m not worried about second, third option,’’ Bargnani said this morning. “It’s all about winning here. Doing as much as possible. I’m really starving to win.

“I think we can play against anybody,’’ Bargnani added. “This team can go very far. I’m glad to be here. I just can’t wait to start.’’

And he couldn’t wait to be out of Canada.

“I had a weird experience in Toronto,’’ Bargnani said. “I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there’s going to be frustration. I’m going to do as much as possible and everything I can to help this team win.’’

Bargnani played just 35 games last season because of wrist and elbow injuries, speeding up his departure. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Bargnani needs to become a better rebounder. He’s averaged just 4.5 rebounds in his career.

“I got to get better in many aspects of the game,’’ Bargnani said. “I had so many injuries. Last year was tough for me. I’m looking forward to helping the team in many ways.’’

Bargnani was booed loudly in Toronto the past two seasons.

“It wasn’t easy,’’ Bargnani said. “Everyone was frustrated. There was a lot of frustration in Toronto because of the losing. When you’re the leading scorer of the team, you got all the pressure. They have their right to express their feelings.’’

Bargnani has no ill effects from last season’s ailments. He will begin training with the Italian National Team in August as it prepares for the European Championships Sept. 4.

“I’m 100 percent healthy now,’’ Bargnani said. “I’ll play with the national team this summer, training with the team and getting into shape. (The injuries) were a huge factor last year. It was really bad.’’

--

The Knicks have 10 players under contract and have yet to sign a free agent from another club because of their precious little money available under the new CBA rules. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald said on a conference call he is confident he’ll still be able to add a couple more “good players.’’ Grunwald said he expects more players to be waived because of the new luxury tax penalties. The Knicks are hoping Metta World Peace becomes an amnesty cut and clears through waivers. Charlotte forward Tyrus Thomas was waived via amnesty Wednesday. Grunwald also added he may bring just 13 guaranteed contracts to training camp, leaving two spots open for an unknown find like Chris Copeland….Grunwald also said he thought there was a chance Copeland could be re-signed, feeling he wouldn’t get an offer greater than they could pay him. But Copeland got a two-year, $6 million deal with the Pacers. Still, Grunwald said the “core rotation players’’ are back except Steve Novak. Apparently Grunwald didn’t view Copeland as a “core rotation player.’’ ... Knicks formally announced J.R. Smith's signing. Grunwald called it "one of our primary goals this offseason.''
 4 years ago '04        #10234
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS – While Glen Grunwald said he’ll likely sign a third point guard to the roster, the Knicks GM said he’s eyeing Iman Shumpert during the summer league to see if he can pick up the ballhandling slack this season.

Shumpert played a lot of point guard at Georgia Tech but was turned mostly into a 2/3 with the Knicks.

“We need another player to play point guard,’’ Grunwald said Thursday on a conference call introducing Andrea Bargnani. “We’ll see how Shump does in the summer league. It’s always a possibility. We’ll probably add a third point guard to our team.’’

The Knicks have missed out on a lot of PG targets already but Sebastian Telfair, Aaron Brooks and even Nate Robinson are still out there. The Knicks only have the $1.7 million remaining from their mini-midlevel exception and also can offer the minimum contracts, pending years of service.

Mike Woodson said Wednesday he’d like to see Shumpert extend his game and improve his ballhanding. Shumpert will participate in his first summer-league practice today after being excused for the first two days. The Post has reported Shumpert will likely only play the first three games.

“I want to see him mature a little more,’’ Woodson said of Shumpert. “He needs to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball. Defensively he’s figured it out. Offensively he has to add more to his game and be more of a focal point offensively .We’ll put him in position to run the team a little bit and also where he plays off that person. Let him play. That’s what he needs to do.’’

The Knicks will consider starting Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni in an all-point-guard backcourt. That was their most successful tandem last season. Hence, they’ll need another point guard and Chris Smith isn’t deemed ready for a rotation.

Grunwald has to date struck out on the free-agent market but remains optimistic. He said he hopes more teams will waive their players because of the new luxury-tax structure – seemingly a reference to Metta World Peace’s situation with the Lakers.

“We have a number of players interested in playing for us,’’ Grunwald said. “We are a pretty good team. Playing in New York is enticing for a lot of people. I’m pretty optimistic we’re going to add good players to our team in the not-so-distant future.’’

Grunwald said he hoped to re-sign power forward Kenyon Martin to add to their frontcourt depth, commending him for "a great year.''
 4 years ago '07        #10235
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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Coach woodson is a smart man..and if shumpert dont work out they have hardaway jr
 4 years ago '04        #10236
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

After suffering through years of losing with the Toronto Raptors, former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani is looking forward to a fresh start with the New York Knicks.

"I had a weird experience in Toronto. I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there's going to be frustration. I'm just very excited to be here. I can't wait to start," Bargnani said on a conference call Thursday. "I really want to help this team to win... I'm starving to win."

The Knicks sent Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-rounders in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto to acquire Bargnani in a trade that was officially announced on Wednesday.

Bargnani fell out of favor in Toronto, failing to live up to the expectations of a No. 1 pick. Last season, he averaged just 12.7 points on 40 percent shooting and missed 47 games due mostly to elbow injuries.

Bargnani was booed for long stretches last season by a fed-up Raptors fan base.

"When you lose, it's never easy. Everybody is frustrated. There was a lot of frustration in Toronto because we've been losing the last five years," Bargnani said. "We didn't go to the playoffs. When you're the leading scorer and the leader of the team you get all the pressure. The fans have their right to express their feelings. I really loved Toronto. It was a great city, great fans, great organization. No regrets. I wish them the best."

Bargnani said his elbow injury was a "huge factor" in his struggles last season but a.ssured the Knicks that he is "100 percent" healthy going into the season.

"It's all resolved," said Bargnani, 27. "I'm going to play with the national team this summer. I'm going to play with them and get back in shape so when I get back here I'm going to be ready to go."

Bargnani is widely viewed as a talented scorer but some have questioned his effort on defense and as a rebounder.

"I'll focus a lot on that. I got to get better in many aspects of the game," Bargnani said. "I really look forward to a healthy season and help the team in many ways, all of the different ways."

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald is optimistic that Bargnani will get back "on track" in New York.

"We're very hopeful that Andrea is still young and now healthy and will have a very bright future with us. The injuries can take its toll and wear on you," Grunwald said. "I think the opportunity to have a fresh start here in New York; he's very excited about that opportunity, (that it) will lead to him getting on track (to be the) player we all hoped he would be."

The Knicks also announced the re-signing of J.R. Smith on Thursday.

Smith's re-signing had been reported last week but could not be announced until July 10 at the earliest, due to the NBA's moratorium on signings and trades.

The team did not disclose the terms of the contract, but Smith's agent, Leon Rose, said last week his client had agreed to a four-year pact worth $24.7 million.

The Knicks have also re-signed Pablo Prigioni and have added Tim Hardaway Jr. and undrafted free agent C.J. Leslie. Grunwald and the front office have five roster spots to fill before the season opens in late October.

"We have a number of players that are interested in playing for us," Grunwald said. "We are obviously going to have a pretty good team and playing in New York is enticing to a lot of people. I'm pretty optimistic that we're going to add some good players to our team in the not too distant future."
 4 years ago '05        #10237
s1eepyboy 12 heat pts12
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Just started my internship 2 days ago, I'm leaving early for this game
 4 years ago '04        #10238
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Berman

LAS VEGAS — Mike Woodson said Knicks fans should preach patience as they wait for Peace.

It’s official! Metta World Peace, the former Ron Artest, was waived via the amnesty rule Thursday night by the Lakers, partially paving the way for him to finally come home and become a Knick.

A lot of chips have to fall James Dolan’s way for this Big Apple dream to happen, but World Peace’s father, Ron Artest Sr., believes ultimately it will. Though World Peace has told his father he would retire if he got amnestied by the Lakers, Artest Sr. doesn’t believe it.

“I feel it’s a big, big possibility,’’ Artest Sr. told The Post Thursday night of his son joining the Knicks. “If the Knicks go after Ron, I can’t see him turning them down.’’

The Lakers saved World Peace’s $7.7 million in salary plus luxury taxes. However, the Queensbridge product now has to clear amnesty waivers in which under-the-cap teams can put a bid on him.

Eleven teams under the cap who can block his move to the Knicks, who received another blow yesterday when the Nets signed forward Andrei Kirilenko. Michael Jordan’s Bobcats, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Orlando, Sacramento, Dallas, Utah, Cleveland and Phoenix can now bid on World Peace in the next 48 hours.

If nobody bids on the controversial 33-year-old small forward, he becomes an outright free agent available for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.

Asked at Thursday’s summer-league practice about the team’s interest if World Peace becomes available, Woodson said: “[General manager] Glen [Grunwald] is coming up and we’ll sit and talk more about him. We don’t have to rush to do anything. The core group is intact that won 54 games last year. That player, or two, could slip through the cracks with amnesty or someone waived or bought out. It can happen. We got to sit patiently and wait and keep roster spots open to see if that may happen.”

World Peace has told his father he doesn’t want to uproot his family by going to another city. He told his father he especially has no interest in playing for a non-contender. However, by retiring, World Peace would forfeit the $7.7 million. If he clears without being bid on, he becomes a free agent and can make $7.7 million plus a portion of the $1.4 million veteran’s minimum (some money is rerouted to the Lakers).

“My gut feels like if the Knicks want him now, my gut tells me it will happen,’’ said Artest Sr., who runs his own kids foundation in New York City. “I haven’t spoken to him yet tonight. I think he could be a prized possession for the Knicks. He wanted to play for the Knicks for so long, since childhood.’’

World Peace had a fun time on Twitter Thursday night, writing he would play for the L.A. Kings or Yao Ming’s team in Shanghai.

In a statement, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said: “It’s tough to say goodbye to a player such as Metta. For anyone who’s had the opportunity to get to know him, it’s impossible not to love him.’’

The Knicks have failed to sign an outside free agent because of the lack of money they can spend under the new collective bargaining agreement. They have been searching for a small forward who can defend and hit the 3-point shot.

On a conference call to introduce Andrea Bargnani, Grunwald said he’s confident the Knicks’ free-agent slump will end soon and believes more players will be waived because of the oppressive luxury-tax penalties.

Grunwald also said he will keep two of the 15 roster spots open for training camp in case more stuff shakes out.

Grunwald said he has liked his summer, adding Bargnani via trade and re-signing Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith. The Knicks have 10 players under contract and Grunwald indicated they are in good position to re-sign Kenyon Martin, too.

“All our core rotation players from last year are back with the exception of Steve [Novak],’’ Grunwald said. “We need to add depth to our bench. We have some good ideas. We’re optimistic we’ll add good players to our team.’’

Grunwald said he realizes the club has to do more tinkering.

“Speculation is the Eastern Conference will be better, not just Brooklyn,’’ he said. “We felt Andrea was a step forward. We’re obviously not satisfied and we need to continue to move this organization forward.’’

Grunwald omitted Chris Copeland’s name as a “core rotation player.’’ His departure to the Pacers seems more disappointing to the fans than Knicks’ brass which made Prigioni the priority.

“Only time will tell how good Chris will be with the Pacers,’’ Woodson said. “For us he was a guy who we didn’t think could make our ballclub [out of camp].’’

They also want to add a third point guard to give them the option of starting a two-point-guard-alignment of Raymond Felton and Prigioni. Their latest failure was trying to woo Gary Neal, a source said.
 4 years ago '04        #10239
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

LAS VEGAS — Andrea Bargnani is thrilled to get out of a “weird’’ situation in Toronto with a chance at new life as a Knick.

Saying he is “really starving to win,’’ the enigmatic 7-foot center from Rome believes he is joining a franchise destined to go far in the playoffs — something that never materialized in Canada.

During Thursday’s introductory conference call, Bargnani sounded relieved to now make his basketball home in the U.S.

“I had a weird experience in Toronto,’’ Bargnani said. “I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there’s going to be frustration. I’m going to do as much as possible and everything I can to help this team win.’’

Though Bargnani faced tons of pressure in Toronto as the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, he will be under the microscope here too. Unless the Knicks net Metta World Peace, he’s essentially the Knicks’ marquee summer addition. At least he has Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton to take the load off. When Chris Bosh departed for Miami three years ago, Bargnani couldn’t handle being No. 1 with the Raptors.

“I’m not worried about second, third option,’’ Bargnani said. “It’s all about winning here. Doing as much as possible. I’m really starving to win.

“I think we can play against anybody,’’ Bargnani added. “This team can go very far. I’m glad to be here. I just can’t wait to start.’’

Iman Shumpert, in Vegas for the Knicks summer league, raved about the team’s new big man. Bargnani is a dangerous 3-point threat and has post-up ability.

“I know he can score the ball, man,’’ Shumpert said. “God, he k!lled us when we played. He can play basketball. I like how he plays the game. He’s a big threat offensively. I think he will stretch the floor a lot.’’

Bargnani played just 35 games last season because of wrist/elbow injuries. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Bargnani needs to become a better rebounder after averaging just 4.5 boards in his career.

“I got to get better in many aspects of the game,’’ Bargnani said. “I had so many injuries. Last year was tough for me. I’m looking forward to helping the team in many ways.’’

Bargnani was booed in Toronto the past two seasons.

“It wasn’t easy,’’ he said. “Everyone was frustrated. There was a lot of frustration in Toronto because of the losing. When you’re the leading scorer of the team, you got all the pressure. They have their right to express their feelings.’’

Bargnani has no ill effects from last season’s ailments. He will begin training with the Italian National Team in August as it prepares for the European Championships Sept. 4.

“I’m 100 percent healthy now,’’ Bargnani said. “I’ll play with the national team this summer, training with the team and getting into shape.’’

* While the Knicks want to sign a third point guard, Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald has visions of Shumpert playing some point guard this season and wants to evaluate him in that role during summer-league that begins today when the Knicks face New Orleans.

“We need another player to play point guard,’’ Grunwald said. “We’ll see how Shump does in the summer league. It’s always a possibility.’’

The Knicks will want to see how Shumpert and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. work together as a backcourt tandem. Shumpert was drafted as a combo guard but when he returned from ACL surgery in January, he was kept strictly as a wing player.

“They didn’t want to throw me in the fire,’’ Shumpert said.
 4 years ago '04        #10240
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Hearing that Jeremy Tyler might get the start over Jerome Jordan who just finished playing with Orlando's summer league team...

Guessing the starting 5 is

PG - Shump
SG - Hardaway
SF - Mitchell
PF - Leslie
C - Tyler
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