New York Knicks

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 3 years ago '04        #10401
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Berman

#Knicks have invited Ike Diogu and Josh Powell, two PFs, to training camp, says a source. Brings roster to 18. Diogu cut by Suns last camp.
 3 years ago '04        #10402
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Berman

The Knicks have filled out their training-camp roster by adding two journeyman power forwards, Ike Diogu and Josh Powell, according to a source.

The pair of 30-year-olds, neither of whom was in the league last season, were given non-guaranteed deals. The 6-foot-8 Diogu was cut by the Suns during training camp last season and went to play in China. Powell, who is 6-foot-9, was with six NBA teams from 2005-2011, last playing for the Hawks in 2011. Powell played in Greece and Puerto Rico last season.

The Knicks are up to 18 players on their roster. With young power forward Jeremy Tyler missing the preseason following stress fracture surgery, the Knicks may end up filling the 15th roster slot with a big man. Two point guards, Tour’e Murry and Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother, also are competing for the last roster spot.
 3 years ago '04        #10403
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Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- Andrea Bargnani is back on the practice floor.

The new Knicks forward had been away from basketball while battling pneumonia. But Bargnani was on the court Monday playing with his teammates in informal workouts at the Knicks' facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Monday.

"He looked good," Raymond Felton said at an Under Armour event at Macy's in Manhattan. "He's been really sick though. ... He's a little winded right now."

It makes sense that Bargnani would be a bit out of shape. He hasn't been able to play basketball for at least five weeks. He was forced to forgo playing for the Italian national team in the EuroBasket tournament because of pneumonia.

Felton, who spoke at an Under Armour event at Macy's in Manhattan, said Bargnani looked strong while playing pickup basketball with his teammates.

"That guy looked great, in my opinion," Felton said. "Everything that I was hoping that he was going to do, he kind of did it the first day we played pickup. So that kind of made me excited as a point guard."

Bargnani, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto, will have to work his way back into playing shape during the Knicks' training camp and preseason. The first training camp practice is Oct. 1.

Eventually, Felton believes Bargnani can be the Knicks' "new Rasheed Wallace."

"A seven-footer that can always space the floor," Felton said. "That's a big help to our team, I think."
 3 years ago '04        #10404
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 Born_Loser said:
Berman

The Knicks have filled out their training-camp roster by adding two journeyman power forwards, Ike Diogu and Josh Powell, according to a source.

The pair of 30-year-olds, neither of whom was in the league last season, were given non-guaranteed deals. The 6-foot-8 Diogu was cut by the Suns during training camp last season and went to play in China. Powell, who is 6-foot-9, was with six NBA teams from 2005-2011, last playing for the Hawks in 2011. Powell played in Greece and Puerto Rico last season.

The Knicks are up to 18 players on their roster. With young power forward Jeremy Tyler missing the preseason following stress fracture surgery, the Knicks may end up filling the 15th roster slot with a big man. Two point guards, Tour’e Murry and Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother, also are competing for the last roster spot.
If they don't give that last spot to Murray I'm gonna be pissed
 3 years ago '04        #10405
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Berman

Starting point guard Raymond Felton believes being the oldest team in NBA history last season was an interesting distinction, but ultimately cost the Knicks a chance at a title. Felton said the Knicks have a greater chance of success in 2013-14 because they have become younger.

Felton pointed to the elderly bench of Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd, who fell apart in the playoffs, as part of the team’s ultimate undoing, getting KO’d in the second round by the Pacers. With training camp opening Monday, none of those players are back. Three of them have retired.

“We’re a younger team this year,’’ Felton said at an Under Armour appearance at Macy’s in Herald Square. “Kurt Thomas, Rasheed, love them like brothers. [But] those guys were 38, 39, 40 years old. Once they got injuries, they’re out and it hurt us last year. We’ve added Metta [World Peace], [Andrea] Bargnani, Kenyon [Martin] and Amar’e [Stoudemire] are coming back. Tim Hardaway [Jr.] looks great by the way. I’ve been most impressed with him. It gives us depth at that big spot and youth. Those guys are younger.

“No knock to the guys we had last year. Those guys had incredible careers. I wish I could play that long. But we are young. That’s what I’m saying. We’re a younger team this year. We still got depth from last year, but we also have a younger bench. That’s going to help us later in the season.”

Felton isn’t younger this year, but he certainly is lighter. He said he has lost between 10 and 15 pounds this summer. Since his ill-fated season in Portland two years ago, he has dropped more than 20 pounds, he said.

“I feel I’m back to my old self when I was here the first time,’’ Felton said. “The way I’m moving on the court, giving me extra confidence in myself.’’

Virtually all of the Knicks are in Westchester working out informally. Felton finally got a chance to play with Bargnani on Monday. Bargnani got to town a little weakened. The former Toronto big man had to withdraw from the European Championships during Italy’s training camp in August due to pneumonia.

“He was really sick,’’ Felton said. “He had pneumonia, was out about a month. He’s a little winded right now. The guy was in bed and wasn’t allowed to work out for a month. He looks great. Everything I was hoping he’s going to do, he did it the first day we played pickup. I’m excited as a point guard. He’ll be a big help to our team.’’

Bargnani was reviled in Toronto just as Felton was in Portland. Felton is still bitter at the character a.ssassination he received in the Rose City. Last March during a game there, he was booed viciously every time he touched the ball after being portrayed as the guy who cost Portland the playoffs.

He went on a long rant Monday about being portrayed as a locker-room cancer by the media and fans.

“I laughed at the crowd,’’ Felton said. “We’re in the playoffs. What about you all.’’
Felton, who now has his eyes on the Knicks’ captaincy, wants to become one of their prime leaders this season.

“I’ve always been a leader — high school, college,’’ Felton said. “My thing was last year being away for two years to get used to the guys on the team. I got back in touch with the guys and didn’t try to force myself in that role right away. This year I definitely will with one year under my belt. I’ll have a leadership role no matter what. We’ll see.’’

Whether he starts again in the all-point-guard backcourt of Pablo Prigioni remains to be seen. The Knicks prospered in that alignment that began in mid-March. Felton said the coaching staff just finished a retreat to discuss all the scenarios.

“I’m pretty certain we’ll go with that lineup at some point,’’ Felton said. “We were so successful with it last year. I don’t know about starting but we’ll definitely play with each other.’
 3 years ago '04        #10406
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Cole"World" Aldrich has been announced to be part of the training camp roster...anyone hitting up games this season?
 3 years ago '07        #10407
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 Born_Loser said:
Cole"World" Aldrich has been announced to be part of the training camp roster...anyone hitting up games this season?
yep... the Knicks games in Charlotte for sure.

Maybe travel back to catch a Knicks/Nets game?
 3 years ago '04        #10408
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Gotta see what's good with some tickets when I get home today
 3 years ago '04        #10409
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Marc Stein

The New York Knicks on Thursday announced the rehiring of Steve Mills, who served as a key executive with the franchise for 10 years, as president and general manager.

Mills replaces Glen Grunwald, who will remain with the organization as an advisor.

"I am pleased to be able to welcome Steve back to the Knicks. He is a well-respected sports executive with a strong background in basketball, as well as a familiarity with NBA operations and our company,: Knicks owner James Dolan said in a statement. "We look forward to his leadership and believe he is the right person to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.

"We are grateful for Glen's many years of valuable service and pleased that he will remain with the organization."
 3 years ago '04        #10410
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Berman

Last thought on today's #Knicks move. Have no problem if Dolan wants Mills/Houston to lead overhaul. But fretting the giant hypocricy that could lie ahead. How can Mills on Media Day rave about the roster and their chances of dethroning Miami? How can he do so when it's the club Grunwald built 1 to 19 and he's been fired/demoted. Just don't know how exactly that works. Woodson can go talk up The Team Grunwald Built all he wants. He didn't demote Grunwald. But Dolan's actions speak loud and clear: The owner is not sure about this roster and the summer of 2014 and 2015 are already being discussed internally.
 3 years ago '04        #10411
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Hahn

The mission ahead for the #Knicks' new-look front office committee and where it could lead. More:

Training camp is usually when a general manager's work is done. At that point, after a summer of roster moves and negotiations, the keys are handed over to the coach to make something of the roster that the GM created.

Rarely does a team make a front office change before the fruits of that labor are revealed. But the Knicks did that on Thursday when EVP/GM Glen Grunwald was replaced by former MSG Sports president Steve Mills.

The question that needs to be answered is whether this move was made as a reflection of the job Grunwald did -- despite the team's success, there was heavy media ridicule of Grunwald's roster this (and last) offseason -- or in anticipation for what's on the horizon.

Next summer, the Knicks will have $51 million in expiring contracts (not including Carmelo Anthony) to offer for a big contract player who could wind up on the move for whatever reason. And in two summers, if those expirings just melt away, they could have enough -- even with Melo re-signed -- to offer one star free agent a full maximum contract.

The sense here is that while Mike Woodson's job is to get the most out of the roster as currently constituted, Mills -- along with a greater influence from Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien -- have to begin the process of rebuilding this roster and preparing the franchise for another aggressive push in free agency.

Melo will be 31 when the Knicks potentially have the salary cap space to add another max player. That's at the edge of his prime. That's exactly when the Celtics made the moves they made to get Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen around Paul Pierce.

It can only be done with a.ssets and anticipation. The job ahead for Mills, Houston and Warkentien is to be in the know on every top player in the league. You have to be ready when a team is looking to trade a star player for contractual reasons (i.e.: Chris Paul). You have to know if a player wants out and be prepared to make the move.

In 2015, there are some names to watch, but let's look at one very realistic option:

Rajon Rondo, whom Melo had his eyes on over the summer after the Nets grabbed up KG and Pierce. Do the rebuilding Celtics consider moving him next season before free agency? Need a.ssets and expirings to get that done and can't be caught by surprise when Boston is ready to deal.

There is a lot of work ahead and the job at hand is pretty clear for Mills & Co. In the Melo Era, Woodson's job is to win now, but Mills has to ensure this team can win later, too.
 3 years ago '04        #10412
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Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- The Knicks announced Thursday that former team executive Steve Mills will be back in the fold, replacing GM Glen Grunwald. Here's what the move may mean for the organization going forward:

BIGGER ROLE FOR ALLAN HOUSTON: Houston, the Knicks' a.ssistant general manager, will likely see his profile and responsibilities grow now that Grunwald is out. Mills is a top-notch executive with solid connections around the league, but he is not known as a talent evaluator. It's fair to a.ssume that Houston, a longtime Knicks player with close ties to team owner and MSG chairman James Dolan, will play a bigger role in talent evaluation and personnel decisions. Houston will likely be aided by fellow Knicks veteran personnel men Mark Warkentien and John Gabriel along the way.

WILL ISIAH THOMAS BE BACK? Probably not in any official capacity. Mills previously worked with the Knicks for 10 years as president of MSG Sports (Dolan oversees MSG as its executive chairman) and hired Thomas to run the Knicks. But Thomas and Mills reportedly had a falling out over how things unfolded during the Anucha Browne Sanders s3xual harassment lawsuit. Browne Sanders, the Knicks' former senior vice president of marketing and business operations, successfully sued MSG; a jury in October 2007 ordered the Knicks to pay her $11.6 million after finding she endured crude insults and unwanted advances from then-coach Thomas.

Don't forget, though: Thomas will always have Dolan's ear as an unofficial adviser. Dolan admitted as much when his attempt to hire Thomas fell through in 2010.

WHY NOW? It's certainly strange to shake up the front office with training camp practice set to start Tuesday. One thing is clear: Dolan was not comfortable with Grunwald running the team heading into what could be its next overhaul in 2015. The contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony will come off the books going into the 2015-16 season, so the Knicks will have a chance to overhaul the roster in the summer of 2015. The team hopes that Anthony, who can opt out of his contract after this season, can be a part of that overhaul.

Dolan could have been upset over the Nets winning the battle of the headlines this summer from the Knicks. That would be a petty reason to get rid of Grunwald, who did a solid job in the offseason, given the Knicks' cap situation.

There's also a theory among those familiar with the Knicks' politics that Thursday's move paved the way for Houston to take over as president and GM in the future. Elevating Houston to president and GM now would make him culpable for Grunwald losing his title. Grunwald will remain with the Knicks as an adviser.

TROUBLE FOR MIKE WOODSON? The reassignment of Grunwald may mean less job security for the Knicks' head coach. Woodson's contract has a team option for next season. With Grunwald out, there is one less voice in the room to support the coach when the front office and Dolan discuss Woodson's future. Woodson and Grunwald are close. The pair, along with Thomas, played college basketball together at Indiana University.

BRINGS BACK BAD MEMORIES: Mills presided over the Knicks during a troubling period both on the court and in the courthouse. As mentioned, he served as the president of MSG Sports during the Browne Sanders s3xual harassment suit. He also ran the team during a period of poor on-court results. After Mills hired Thomas in 2003, New York missed the playoffs in six of the next seven seasons.
 3 years ago '04        #10413
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Berman

Steve Mills has the endorsement of former Knicks president Donnie Walsh.

Walsh said he was initially surprised by his successor Glen Grunwald’s bizarre ouster Thursday, four days before Knicks training camp, but he believes owner James Dolan can’t go wrong with Mills.

When Walsh ran the Knicks, Mills — then the Garden sports president – was demoted into more of a business than basketball role before ultimately resigning in May 2009. Garden chief Hank Ratner forced Mills’ exit, a source told The Post.

However, Walsh disputes Mills had nothing to do with basketball decisions when Walsh ran the show.

“I didn’t view it that way,’’ Walsh told The Post on Friday via phone from the Pacers’ offices in Indianapolis. “I felt at least with me, we talked basketball with Steve a lot. I don’t know what relationship he had with Isiah [Thomas] but we talked a lot about what I was looking at.’’

Walsh was the Pacers president last season and lobbied for Larry Bird to return to the organization so he can step to a less hectic role. Walsh’s new title is “consultant,’’ and he still goes to the office daily. Ironically, the Pacers’ second-round playoff ouster of the Knicks partially led to Grunwald being stripped of his duties.

“He’s got a lot of ability,’’ Walsh said of Mills. “So did Glen. They’re both really smart , coming from the basketball world. Steve has a lot of love and passion for basketball. He comes from a basketball world.’’

Mills, a former Princeton point guard, has not worked for an NBA team since leaving the Garden. He will forever be tagged with having hired Thomas amid an embarrassing era for the franchise.

“I was surprised because I didn’t know what was happening,’’ Walsh said of the shakeup. “It surprised me. First of all, I have a lot of feeling for Glen. But when I heard it was Steve, I thought, ‘He’s a good guy.’ That’s how I reacted. I think he’ll do a good job.’’

Walsh has always been Grunwald’s biggest fan.

“I have a lot of respect for him,’’ Walsh said. “He did a wonderful job taking the team from where it was to where it got. He got them to being a prime-time team. He did a good job. But I think Steve will be fine. He’s a real competent guy.’’

Dolan wanted Mills to spearhead the Knicks’ future revamping. They are slated to have major cap space in 2015, but first need to retain Carmelo Anthony, who can become a free agent. As the lead candidate to run the Players a.ssociation, Mills was known to have solid relationships with agents, players and coaches. Dolan envisions Mills and a.ssistant GM Allan Houston as a solid recruiting tag team.

Walsh has admitted perhaps LeBron James was concerned by the Knicks’ recruiting pitch and Walsh’s health during the summer of 2010. Walsh was then bound to a wheelchair after hip replacement surgery.

“Look, in our world you have to know the agents, have good relationships,’’ Walsh said. “So when you deal with them, it’s not argumentative all the time. Steve has that. But Glen did that, too.’’

Walsh, meanwhile, is gung ho about the Pacers’ summer. They will get former All-Star Danny Granger, one of Walsh’s all-time best picks, back from injury. They obtained Chris Copeland from the Knicks as a free agent. They added a sturdy backup point guard in C.J. Watson.

“I think we’re better,’’ Walsh said. “The Knicks made some moves that could make them better, but I feel optimistic about our team.’’
 3 years ago '04        #10414
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Keith Schlosser

Anthony Mason Jr., son of the Knicks' great and a NBA D-League alumni already, is set to turn up with the Erie BayHawks this coming season.

This fall, Chris Smith (brother of Knicks' swingman J.R. Smith) will go through the motions with New York during training camp, and if/when he is waived, the guard is likely to then catch on with the Erie BayHawks--the Knicks' D-League affiliate.

Such a matter is certainly a family affair for the Knickerbockers as they try and do right by J.R. But the lending of a helping hand to someone important to the Knicks family won't stop there, as it just so happens.

Anthony Mason Jr. (son of Knicks' legend Anthony Mason) is reportedly set to join the BayHawks as well this coming season. Having last played in the D-League with Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2011-12, Mason Jr. has since played a bit of international ball, and also showed up on the Miami Heat's NBA Summer League last year.

The young gun returned to his old stomping grounds last week (St. John's University) to officially pick up his diploma, and apparently told the good folks that run the @StJohnsBBall Twitter account that Erie is in fact where he'll be to start the season this year.

Mason Sr. is still a familiar face amongst the Knicks' organization, as well as their fan base. He attended an array of games at MSG last season, and frequently turns up at plenty of related charity events as well.

A NBA D-League veteran of two seasons, Mason Jr. posted career averages of 16.7 points (on 50% from the field and 35% from deep), 5.7 rebounds, 3 a.ssists, and 1 steal per contest with the Skyforce.
 3 years ago '04        #10415
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Berman

Amar’e Stoudemire sees himself and Carmelo Anthony entering the Hall of Fame together one of these years.

But whether Stoudemire and Anthony enter with a joint championship ring largely depends on whether the Knicks power forward’s knees hold up by April’s playoffs.

With the Knicks gathering Monday for Media Day and team meetings as camp commences in Tarrytown, the health and continued rehab of Stoudemire will be a major issue. Stoudemire reportedly had another minor knee procedure in July.

Stoudemire has not scrimmaged since players began informal workouts early this month after The Post reported he had been shut down all summer by owner James Dolan, forbidden even from working out with Hakeem Olajuwon.

On an SI Now webcast last week, Stoudemire said the key to the Knicks dethroning Miami is not about basketball.

“It goes back to health,’’ Stoudemire said. “That’s something that’s very, very important for any team — to stay healthy — which is not guaranteed. Then you got a great chance to be successful in the postseason.”

The six-time All-Star has given very few interviews in the U.S. this summer, choosing to give more access to the Israeli press on his extended visits to the Holy Land. He has lost some of his braggadocio, no longer talking about dominating, and admitting the season will be “a success’’ if he stays healthy.

According to point guard Raymond Felton, Stoudemire is expected to do almost no scrimmaging this preseason [which starts on the court Tuesday with the first practice]. He may play in only a couple of exhibition games. The Post has reported he will be put on a minutes restriction that could top out at 20, and he may not play in both games of back-to-backs.

“Obviously winning the championship is the ultimate success,’’ Stoudemire said. “But successful [for me] is to make it through the season healthy and go into the postseason feeling strong and ready to go. Then give it a great shot and see what we can do.’’

“I feel good,’’ Stoudemire added. “It’s been a long offseason really trying to preserve strength in the knees and keep myself healthy.’’

Stoudemire’s resurgence — he played just 29 games last season — is probably the Knicks only hope at becoming a scary team this season. This Knicks era that began in 2008 with former president Donnie Walsh getting under the salary cap will likely be viewed ultimately as a failure because Stoudemire’s five-year, $100 million uninsured contract did not pan out.

Stoudemire enters the final two years of the pact — the two years former Phoenix general manager Steve Kerr would not guarantee when the Suns made an offer in 2010 that was turned down. If the Knicks had made the final two years as team options, they’d have been under the salary cap going into last summer.

A humbled Stoudemire, meanwhile, is on board with his new reduced role after two knee surgeries last season.

“I’ve been very successful in my career, accomplished a lot,’’ Stoudemire said. “It’s more than I could imagine. It’s not about accepting a role of sixth man or starting. It’s about staying healthy.’’

Jelling with Anthony — once a big issue — now takes a backseat to his knee issues.

“It’s always that way anytime you have two star players,’’ Stoudemire said about his adjustment to Anthony’s style. “Hopefully we’re future Hall of Famers if all goes well. It takes a little adjustment. We both made that adjustment. We seem to play well together.’’

New Knicks president/GM Steve Mills will address the media Monday for the first time since being named to his new post Thursday, replacing Glen Grunwald. Mills figures to be more visible with the media —– and hence the fans — than Grunwald. For unexplained reasons, the organization put a muzzle on Grunwald, a lawyer.
 3 years ago '04        #10416
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RealGM.com

The New York Knicks have picked up the option on Mike Woodson’s contract for the 2014-15 season.

Woodson, entering his second full season at the helm of the Knicks after being named interim head coach on Mar. 14, 2012, led the franchise to a 54-28 (.659) mark last season and the franchise’s first Atlantic Division crown since 1993-94. He finished third in media balloting for the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year award and was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for April. His .679 (72-34) winning percentage is second-best in franchise history.

“I have long respected Mike and think he has done a remarkable job since becoming the head coach of the Knicks,” Steve Mills said. “After spending time with him recently, it is clear that picking up his option is an easy decision.”
 3 years ago '04        #10417
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Frank Isola

Amar'e Stoudemire's hectic summer didn't include much basketball but it did include yet another knee surgery, the Daily News has learned.

According to a Knicks source, Stoudemire had an unreported surgical procedure in July to repair one of his ailing knees. The Knicks open camp on Tuesday and have yet to announce that Stoudemire has had a third knee operation in 12 months. The surgery was described as "clean up" and isn't considered major.

However, the secrecy surrounding Stoudemire's latest health issue could be an indication that the club is not optimistic that they can rely on the veteran power forward. Stoudemire appeared in just 29 games last season and had debridement surgeries on both of his knees, the right knee in October and the left in March.

Stoudemire was on a strict minutes restriction last season and both head coach Mike Woodson and former general manager Glen Grunwald said last May that the plan going forward was to reduce the playing time of the fragile $100 million forward.

Stoudemire's work ethic is second to none and in the past he has worked vigorously to get himself back on the court. However, the Knicks management is all but resigned to the fact that Stoudemire will never return to his All Star form on a consistent basis.

Stoudemire is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $100 million contract. Because of his previous knee problems, Stoudemire's contract is not insured. Stoudemire's former team, the Phoenix Suns, were advised by their medical staff that Stoudemire would be physically limited in the third year of his contract.

Based on that information, the club refused to give Stoudemire the type of offer he received from the Knicks, who at the time were desperate to add a free agent and were holding out hope that signing Stoudemire would convince LeBron James to join them.

However, the Suns diagnosis has proven to be correct. Last season was the third year of Stoudemire's deal with the Knicks and he broke down before, during and after the season.

Stoudemire's health is what led to the Knicks to pursue power forward Andrea Bargnani from Toronto in July. Bargnani was acquired before Stoudemire's surgery. The Knicks also re-signed Kenyon Martin as insurance. The odds of Stoudemire starting alongside Carmelo Anthony were always remote and now it appears as if the best the Knicks can get out of Stoudemire is a few minutes a night as a back-up.

The health of several key players is a troubling sign for the Knicks, who are coming off their most successful season in 13 years. J.R. Smith had major knee surgery in July and a.ssuming he is available to play in November he will still be forced to miss five games due to his drug suspension.

Also, Anthony played the first six weeks with a partially torn left labrum. He elected not to have surgery and from all indications his non-shooting arm is recovering through physical therapy. However, there is no way of knowing how Anthony's arm will react once the rigors of the regular season begin.

Last year, Anthony needed to have fluid drained from his right knee in March. The Knicks were criticized for their handling of Anthony's knee including the decision to have Anthony return from Denver, where the Knicks were playing, to have the procedure done.

Also last year, the Knicks called Rasheed Wallace's injury a sore foot even though he had been diagnosed with a stress fracture that eventually required surgery and forced him to retire.
 3 years ago '04        #10418
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Chandler bragging about how he's worked on his offense during the summer. Hope this is true cause this dude cannot just be about defense (and even sometimes on that he backs down on occasion)
 3 years ago '10        #10419
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 Born_Loser said:
Chandler bragging about how he's worked on his offense during the summer. Hope this is true cause this dude cannot just be about defense (and even sometimes on that he backs down on occasion)
Gonna be interesting to see which Tyson Chandler we see this year.

Bobcats Tyson or Mavs Tyson?

An extra added offensive move would be lovely.
 3 years ago '04        #10420
Born_Loser|M 90 heat pts90
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$41,220 | Props total: 2725 2725
Berman

Steve Mills believes the Knicks roster former general manager Glen Grunwald built is good enough to win a title this season. But apparently it was not enough to Grunwald to keep his job.

In his first move as Knicks president/GM, Mills on Monday picked up the contract option on coach Mike Woodson for the 2014-15 season. And in the first press conference of his term, Mills spoke boldly of the Knicks’ chances this season.

Something doesn’t wash, but often it doesn’t in the unorthodox world of owner James Dolan, who believes Mills is the guy to lead the eventual reconstruction of the Knicks. They are set to have salary cap space in 2015, but need to prepare by re-signing Carmelo Anthony this summer.

No, Mills was unable to explain the logic behind firing Grunwald four days before training camp after he a.ssembled a title-caliber roster.

“Our goal is to win a championship this year,’’ Mills said. “We feel like we need to build on the success we had last year. While we have long-term goals, our near-time goal is the same as they’ve been. Our goal is to win a championship. We think we have a good chance to do that.’’

The Woodson announcement removes the coach’s lame-duck status before training camp, but it hardly a.ssures Woodson will last until next season, especially if the Knicks — who finished second in the East last season — take a step back. Dolan was known to be displeased with Woodson’s performance in the team’s second-round playoff ouster against the Pacers this spring.

“I had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with Mike Woodson [in recent days],’’ Mills said. “I watched the team a lot last year. I was happy to see what he was able to do with the team. The first thing I decided to do was exercise the option on his contract.’’

Woodson’s job appeared to be on shaky ground last week after Mills replaced Grunwald, who tabbed Woodson and has a strong allegiance to the 55-year-old coach dating back to their days as college teammates at Indiana.

“I don’t know if there was weight on my shoulders, but I’m excited Steve Mills and Mr. Dolan have given me the opportunity to come back another year,’’ Woodson said. “I’m extremely grateful.‘’

Mills was asked several different ways about the unusual timing of his hire and Grunwald’s reassignment to an advisory role.

“I can’t answer the question as to why Jim made the decision [now],’’ Mills said. “What Glen and I have agreed is Glen will stay on as adviser and help me in my transition. I think Jim’s ultimate objective was continue on the success we’ve had over the last couple of years. How do we continue to grow and how do we continue to build, make this franchise and the basketball part of the organization the best it can possibly be.’’

Asked about the suddenness of Grunwald’s departure last Thursday, Woodson said, “I have nothing to do with that change. I wish him nothing but the best. We go back 34 years as you know. I wish him well from the bottom of my heart.”

One of Mills’ first remarks Monday was stating his belief Carmelo Anthony, who can opt out of his contract to become a free agent after this season, will be retained.

“We are fortunate to have a player like Carmelo on our roster,’’ Mills said. “He’s one of the superstars who don’t come around very often. While it is premature in the process, we have made it very clear we have every intention of making Carmelo a Knick for a long time to come.’’

Dolan is viewing Mills and a.ssistant GM Allan Houston as a tandem to rebuild the franchise as it enters a pivotal period.

Mills said of Houston, “I think he’s an up-and-coming great basketball executive.’’

Mills, the former Garden sports president who once hired Isiah Thomas, said he’s looking to revamp the organization’s philosophy and mentioned a movement toward more analytics. In this age of a punitive luxury tax, signing players whose production outstrips their contracts is crucial. Mills hinted he could hire another front-office type, perhaps one who specializes in advanced statistics.

“[Jim] felt in today’s environment of the NBA with the punitive nature of the tax structure and the salary cap that he wants to have an organization that is the best in the NBA,’’ Mills said. “He felt it was time to bring someone in who can take a look at every aspect of running a basketball business.’’

Though he hired Thomas and was in office during the Anucha Browne Sanders s3xual harassment case, Mills said he had no regrets from his first term at the Garden.
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