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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '04        #10541
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
Berman

The more Carmelo Anthony rambled Saturday night, the glummer and graver he sounded. This postgame session was not made for James Dolan’s MSG Network.

Anthony may sound gloomy because he senses he wants it more than anyone else in the Knicks’ locker room. That is a problem now, going forward and this summer.

Melo had always sounded optimistic across his career before this season. In the summer of 2012 in London, Michelle Obama attended Team USA’s opener, hugged Anthony after the game and told him she loves that he always looks happy. “Keep on smiling,’’ the first lady told Anthony that afternoon.

Anthony is not smiling anymore. He has been grim and grimmer as the Knicks have dug a 3-6 hole, lowlighted by an absurd five-game home losing streak. After the Knicks were Saturday Night Dead against Atlanta in a 20-point loss, Anthony dropped the bomb he feels like the team isn’t even trying.

There’s a lot eating at Anthony and one issue eating at a lot of the players is Dolan’s medical staff’s minutes restrictions on certain guys. The Amar’e Stoudemire/Kenyon Martin conundrum is handcuffing Mike Woodson and the two players.

Dolan might as well buy Woodson a calculator for the sidelines so he can tabulate the seconds.

Rugged play off the bench from their power forward tandem of Martin and Stoudemire is desperately needed now that center Tyson Chandler, still on crutches, is out at least three more weeks. As it stands in the latest revision, Stoudemire isn’t supposed to play more than 10 minutes a night and no back-to-backs.

Stoudemire is hoping that number increases soon.

Martin’s situation eased a bit after a recent meeting between Martin’s agent, Andy Miller, and Knicks GM Steve Mills. Martin can now play in every game, with Martin making the call if he feels his ankles are too sore to play. However, Martin’s minutes restriction of 15-20 minutes is still in place.

It’s no way to run a basketball team as the Knicks medical staff tries to reinvent the wheel. Stoudemire doesn’t have a chance to get any rhythm or enough playing time to get back to close to his old form.

He’s better than he has shown. He needs a chance, and so does Martin. Both played just one preseason game, so this is almost still like the exhibition season for them.

“It’s hard for myself, hard for him to coach,’’ Stoudemire said Saturday. “By the time you get up and down and get adjusted to the speed of the game, it’s already three minutes, and then in two minutes you’re out. And if you miss a shot, it feels the world is collapsing on you because you’re expected to do so much and somewhat win the game in five minutes.”

They both need to play more because this way isn’t working. The heavy-handedness of Dolan’s medical people is not exactly the best recruiting tool for Anthony, who seems baffled by the team’s shifting starting lineups and chaotic rotations.

Anthony’s panicky remarks Saturday just may be aimed at the restrictions. Remember, Anthony came to New York to play with Stoudemire. Let them play. If Stoudemire and Martin break down, so be it. But this way isn’t working.

“There’s a nasty feeling in here,’’ Anthony said.

J.R. Smith, who also came back to a brief restriction of 30 minutes, said repeatedly if it continued, he’d just as soon not come back. That’s how much players hate the system.

There, too, is undeniably a leadership vacuum. Smith recently alluded to missing the voices of their grizzled veterans — Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas — from last season when the Knicks began 18-5 on the way to 54-28.

Without Chandler, Smith has been told to be “a voice’’ in the locker room. But he’s struggling so badly on Twitter and with his jumper, it’s tough to lead. Same with Raymond Felton, who has looked lousy through nine games, still not over a nagging hamstring injury.

Anthony is worried by the time Chandler returns, the Knicks not only may have lost a chance to get home-court advantage in the first round, but could find themselves f!ghting just to get into the playoffs.

Melo hasn’t found a rhythm on his jumper, but is playing his butt off every night, grinding and banging for boards. After the Knicks lost the 109-106 Houston heartbreaker and Anthony notched 25 points, an NBA personnel man on hand said, “Melo almost single-handedly beat the Rockets. That was the hardest I’ve ever seen him play. It was impressive.’’

Anthony needs help up front and there’s no reason to wait. Stoudemire and Martin need to be unleashed.
 4 years ago '04        #10542
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
SCOTT CACCIOLA

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Raymond Felton was a spectator for most of Monday’s practice. He sat on a training table next to Tyson Chandler, whose fractured right leg was no longer encased in a protective boot. This counted as progress for the Knicks, whose training facility has doubled as a sanitarium this season.

Felton, the starting point guard, took the day off from contact drills as he continued to recover from a strained left hamstring. The injury has hindered him since the preseason. His shooting touch has been jagged. His defense has been worse, with opposing guards treating him like a bright orange traffic cone.

“There are certain shots that I’m used to taking and making that just aren’t falling,” Felton said. “And there are certain lateral movements that I can’t make on defense. It’s just not there. And it’s frustrating. I’m f!ghting through it.”

Felton, who is averaging 11.1 points a game and shooting 37.6 percent from the field, has also been dealing with what he described as a pinched nerve in his hip, which sends a “sharp pain” shooting down his legs, he said. He has taken medication in an attempt to ease some of the symptoms.

“Nobody’s known about that, because I don’t like making excuses,” he said. “But hopefully, the treatment kicks in, and we’ll see how it goes.”

With trade talk swirling and the pressure to win mounting, the Knicks (3-6) might be leaving town at an opportune time. Five of their next six games will be on the road, starting Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons. The Knicks have been dreadful at Madison Square Garden, where they have lost five straight.

On Monday, Coach Mike Woodson again questioned his team’s effort. He can excuse missed shots, he said. He cannot justify an absence of focus.

“Not good enough,” he said. “I’m not here to teach effort, and I think our players understand that.”

For Felton, 29, the opening weeks of the season have been a slog. He injured his hamstring in a preseason game against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 17, and then had the muscle tighten in the regular-season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 30.

His play has suffered. His points per possession, a measure of offensive efficiency, are .746 over all and an anemic .672 in half-court sets, which ranks in the league’s 17th percentile, according to Synergy Sports. He is shooting 22.7 percent in fourth quarters, an indication of fatigue.

Felton has never been mistaken for the second coming of Bill Bradley. For his career, Felton is a 41.3 percent shooter. His conditioning has occasionally been cause for concern, particularly when he played for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2011-12.

Still, Felton has seldom been quite so ineffective as a scorer — or as a defender. Opposing guards are scoring 25.3 points per 48 minutes against him, according to 82games.com. Last Thursday, he was outplayed by the Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin, who collected 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 a.ssists in a 109-106 win. Felton finished with 8 points and 7 a.ssists in 41 minutes. The game underscored the Knicks’ decision to let the 25-year-old Lin leave as a free agent two summers ago.

Felton has acknowledged that he has not played well. But unless Woodson gives more minutes to Pablo Prigioni or Beno Udrih, Felton will continue to play — and play a lot.

Woodson voiced his support for Felton last week when he was asked if there was an ideal type of point guard to bring out the best in Carmelo Anthony. “Raymond Felton,” Woodson said.

Ivorie Manning, a Las Vegas-based shooting coach who has worked with Felton, said he called Felton last week to see if he wanted to meet. Manning said he could sense that Felton was playing under stress.

“He just said, ‘I’m not making any excuses, but my hamstring is k!lling me,’ ” Manning said in a telephone interview. “I can tell. With me being here in town, and us not going to the gym last night, that tells me what kind of state he’s in. I know how much he likes to work, but he just wants to rest at this point. Ray is not one to rest.”

A large part of Felton’s game, Manning said, is predicated on his ability to get into the lane. Once there, Felton has two options. If he draws defenders, he can pass the ball to an open teammate under the basket. Or, if he has the space, he can come to a jump stop and launch a short floater.

In recent weeks, though, both options have been limited, Manning said. With Chandler sidelined, Felton has been operating without a reliable post presence if he penetrates and the defense collapses. And because his plant leg is injured, Felton is missing his usual explosion when he does shoot. He has converted only half his attempts within five feet of the basket.

“The last thing you want to do when you have a hamstring injury is come to a quick stop and shoot,” Manning said.

As a result, Felton has settled for more outside jumpers, with 34 of his 109 field-goal attempts coming from 3-point range.

This has not been an especially sound strategy for Felton, who has made seven of them, or 20.6 percent.

“The lift is not there,” Felton said. “But no excuses. I’ve got to figure it out.”

REBOUNDS

Metta World Peace, who did not practice Monday because of a sore left knee, will not make the trip. He was also mourning the death of a family member, Mike Woodson said. ... Center Jeremy Tyler could join the Erie BayHawks, the Knicks’ Development League affiliate, by Wednesday, according to Ivorie Manning, who has been working with him.
 4 years ago '04        #10543
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
Berman

DETROIT — The NBA held internal discussions about the Knicks’ decision to keep J.R. Smith’s brother, Chris Smith, on their 15-man roster and ultimately decided it was not in violation of circumventing the salary cap, The Post has learned.

On Monday, the Knicks sent Smith to their D-League affiliate in Erie, Pa. as planned, but he still is part of the 15-man roster. It has caused consternation with the fan base because the Knicks have five point guards on the roster, but were lacking in healthy big men even before Tyson Chandler’s leg injury.

The NBA began discussing the issue internally after coach Mike Woodson said before the preseason cut deadline J.R.’s presence was a factor in whether the team kept Chris Smith.

J.R. Smith was a free agent over the summer and talked about taking less money to stay with the Knicks, who could offer only the early-Bird exception that, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, started at $5.5 million. When the undrafted Chris Smith changed agents to J.R.’s rep, Leon Rose, last spring, some in the league saw it as a “package deal.’’

But, according to a league official, the league decided Chris Smith was enough of a bona fide NBA prospect to justify the club keeping him.

“Chris has enough talent,’’ the official told The Post. “He could become an NBA player one day. Some teams do keep projects instead of players who can help right away, and Chris is one of those projects.”

Chris Smith, who played at Louisville, joined Erie’s training camp Monday after essentially being a practice player for the Knicks. He was inactive for eight games and dressed for one but didn’t play. During preseason, Chris Smith, coming off knee surgery, shot 1-of-7 from the field in 20 minutes.

While Chris Smith makes the league minimum $491,000, he is actually costing the Knicks $2.1 million when factoring in the Knicks’ luxury-tax bracket. Worse, his contract, because of a quirky addendum, became fully guaranteed on opening night.

Late last month, Woodson said J.R. Smith’s presence gave his brother a better chance of making the team.

“Sure, it does,” Woodson said at the time. “I look at [Chris] just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family. That’s his brother. I respect that.’’

Smith’s inclusion on the Knicks roster led to a Twitter feud between J.R. Smith and guard Brandon Jennings of the Pistons, whom the Knicks face Tuesday in Detroit. Jennings tweeted he can’t believe Chris Smith had an NBA roster spot while his friends, Bobby Brown and Pooh Jeter, are playing in China.

J.R. Smith responded he’d send his “street homies’’ to Detroit and the NBA fined him $25,000. A league official told The Post the league viewed the tweet as “an implied threat.’’

Over the weekend, Jennings told Detroit reporters the initial tweet was meant to support his two friends, not denigrate Smith.

“Regardless if the tweet was accurate or not, sometimes maybe there are things I should discuss with the homies rather than let the world know about it,” Jennings said.
 4 years ago '04        #10544
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Metta World Peace had fluid drained from his left knee Monday, league sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

World Peace will miss Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons. His status for Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers is uncertain.

World Peace missed Saturday's game against the Atlanta Hawks with left knee soreness. When the discomfort didn't subside, the team recommended that World Peace get fluid drained from his knee, sources said.

The procedure is believed to be a minor one. World Peace, 34, is expected to return to the floor by the end of the week at the latest.

It's worth noting, though, that World Peace underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the same knee in late March while with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was originally expected to miss at least six weeks but returned to the court just 12 days later.

On Monday, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said World Peace would not travel with the team to Detroit due to a death in the family. His sister, Shalice Holmes-Taylor, died earlier this month.

"Our condolences goes out to his family and Metta. But he'll return soon," Woodson said.

Woodson was asked whether World Peace's knee was part of the reason for his absence, but he did not give a direct answer.

With World Peace and Tyson Chandler (fractured right fibula) out, the Knicks (3-6) figure to be compromised on defense, particularly on the interior. The Pistons feature a front line of Josh Smith (6-foot-9), Andre Drummond (6-10) and Greg Monroe (6-11). Woodson said Monday that he would consider inserting power forward Kenyon Martin into the starting lineup to give the Knicks a chance to compete with Detroit's big front line.

In other injury news, point guard Raymond Felton has been playing through hamstring soreness and, according to a report, a pinched nerve in his hip.

Felton told The New York Times that he has been taking medicine for the pinched nerve, which he said sends a shooting pain down his leg. His status for Tuesday's game against Detroit is uncertain.

If Felton can't play, backup point guard Pablo Prigioni likely will start in his place.
 4 years ago '08        #10545
AC_89 195 heat pts195
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Y does it seem like everybody on the roster is banged up or coming off a surgery
 4 years ago '04        #10546
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
starting 5

Udrih, Shump, Melo, K-Mart, Barg
 4 years ago '04        #10547
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
Berman

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Carmelo Anthony sounded as confused and dejected in Motown after this latest debacle Tuesday, but didn’t attack the team’s effort as he did after Saturday night’s loss to the Hawks. Instead, he took his aggravation out on the officiating.

Anthony heated up in the fourth quarter after a brutal first three periods. But as with this sorry season, it was too little, too late.

Anthony suffered another wayward performance as he shot 8-of-20 with seven turnovers and one technical foul. He wound up with 25 points as the Knicks lost their third straight and fell to 3-7 after a 92-86 loss to the struggling Pistons at The Palace.

“I thought effort was there at times,’’ Anthony said. “We’re losing. It’s a messed-up feeling, hurt feeling. We got to figure this out quick.’’

He then added, “As the leader of this team, I feel I could do more.”

A foul-plagued Anthony showed his frustration on the court, picking up a third-quarter technical as the game slipped away and yapped nonstop at the referees over non-calls.

“It’s kind of hard dealing with that when you think things should be going your way and they’re not,’’ Anthony said. “When you think something should be called and they’re not. I got to f!ght through that.’’

The undermanned Knicks were outclassed in the second half by the lousy Pistons (4-6). Detroit took a 15-point lead early in the fourth before Anthony led a rally, getting them within four points in the final minute.

“It’s hard to take anything positive out of anything the way we’ve been playing these games,’’ he said. “It’s not really making sense to me right now what’s really going on. Why we’re not in sync with one another. We’re losing basketball games. We’re playing in spurts as far as playing hard.’’

It was the ninth anniversary of the “Malice at the Palace” brawl and the Knicks didn’t show enough f!ght without Malice villain Metta World Peace (sore left knee), starting point guard Raymond Felton (hip) and center Tyson Chandler (broken leg).

Anthony said after the Atlanta loss Saturday, “It was like we weren’t even trying.’’

The Knicks tried in Motown. They aren’t talented enough when this undermanned, even against Detroit.

And it’s only going to get worse Wednesday when the Knicks host the 9-1 Pacers, who eliminated the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs last May. The Knicks have yet to recover. The ”Fire Woodson’’ chants could start early.

“It’s a matter of wanting it more [Wednesday],’’ Anthony said. “There’s bitter feelings. Hopefully that gives us some momentum, energy, confidence, anger.’’

Without three key pieces of the rotation and Anthony shooting 5-of-15 through three quarters, the Knicks were cooked. Anthony scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, but Detroit’s big frontcourt of Greg Monroe (16 points), Josh Smith (19) and Andre Drummond (13) was too much to handle for the Knicks, who started Kenyon Martin at center.

“We had effort, we had defense,’’ Martin said. “But sometimes you make shots, sometimes you miss.’’

Anthony shot 3-of-12 in the first half with four turnovers. His frustration boiled over in the third during a 11-3 Pistons run that broke the game open. Anthony bricked a jumper over an outstretched Josh Smith and picked up a technical foul, arguing he was fouled.

Anthony was ticked again moments later, as he drove to the hole, got fouled, and made the layup. It looked like a potential three-point play. But it was waved off and called a non-shooting foul. Anthony exited the game in a huff.

Amar’e Stoudemire also picked up a technical in the third after missing twice inside and not getting a call.

“We lost our composure a little,’’ Mike Woodson said. “Melo thought he had a three-point play, which I went back and looked at and he did.’’

Woodson declined to intentional foul Drummond during the fiourth quarter. Drummond, an inept free-throw shooter, was 1-of-5 in the game and 2-of-12 for the season.

Instead, the Knicks let Drummond hurt them on the glass with two straight putbacks. Ronald Stuckey also added 21 points.

The Knicks shot just 43.4 percent. Stoudemire blamed “a stagnant offense,’’ poor ball movement and spacing.

J.R. Smith, back to his sixth-man role, scored 18 points.

“We just have to get back to running and it’s easier for everybody,’’ Smith said. “We just have to do a better job when guys get the ball, pushing it.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10548
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,234 | Props total: 3741 3741
Berman

UBURN HILLS, Mich. — Knicks legend Walt Frazier sees once-confident Iman Shumpert now looking as if he’s not having fun.

Shumpert, who was often compared to Frazier during his rookie season because of his defense-first approach and quick hands, has fallen onto the trading block, and Frazier sees it affecting him.

“He’s always been a very confident guy,’’ Frazier told The Post before the Knicks’ 92-86 loss to the Pistons. “I think he just has to find his role. Sometimes he doesn’t look like he’s happy out here. Maybe that’s because he heard the rumors he’s being traded. But he’s very stern in his face. It doesn’t look like he’s having fun.’’

Frazier, whose documentary on his Atlanta upbringing debuted Tuesday night on MSG Network, said he could see why Knicks president Steve Mills would look to see what he can get for Shumpert, who scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds against the Pistons.

“You look at team, he’s a valuable a.sset,’’ Frazier said. “One of the few guys they can trade. Not surprised by that.’’

“It has to be a breakout year for him. He was there as a rookie. The injury set him back, but he came back strong last year. This has to be the year he shows something.’’

As for the documentary, it was highlighted by Frazier getting emotional when talking about the segregation he grew up with in the South.

“It was my motivation, brought up like that,’’ Frazier said. “It was in my work ethic. You can’t rest on your laurels. If I scored 30 points [in high school], the next day my coach would bring me the paper where a white guy scored 40. I still had to work harder. That was the kind of way where you can never rest on what you were doing. [People] never knew how good I was because I was never in the white papers, only in the black papers.’’

* * *

Kenyon Martin has gone from a platoon system, playing every other game with a minutes restriction to starting center with no-holds barred.

Martin, who started at center down the stretch last season when the Knicks reeled off 13 straight wins, started against the Pistons and scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds in 29 minutes.

Martin, one of the grittier players in the league, said he thinks he can help the Knicks’ woeful starts defensively, and as long as his ankle holds up, could remain the starting center until Tyson Chandler (broken leg) returns in three-to-four weeks.

“We got to be more aggressive on the defensive end,’’ Martin said. “We realize we haven’t gotten off to a good start as a team. I’m hoping I can add that spark.’’

Martin can’t believe effort has been an issue with the team.

“For that to be a conversation around here, it’s a shame,’’ Martin said. “You can’t teach effort. It has to be a part of you.’’

* * *

Coach Mike Woodson said he is hoping Metta World Peace, who missed his second straight game Tuesday, returns Wednesday against the Pacers. Woodson confirmed World Peace had fluid drained from his left knee Monday.

Asked if he’s worried because World Peace had surgery on the knee last season, Woodson said, “There’s a lot of concerns right now. Again we got to coach the guys able to play.’’
 4 years ago '10        #10549
ARosary 46 heat pts46
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just wanted to say


fu*k Dolan
 4 years ago '07        #10550
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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 ARosary said:
just wanted to say


fu*k Dolan
I agree... like every other Knicks fan in the world
 4 years ago '04        #10551
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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word the fu*k up

n*ggas like Dolan, Jerry Jones needs to just be owners and just cash the check. hire ppl in ur respective sport and let the n*ggas who KNOW the sport do their job
 4 years ago '04        #10552
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ken Berger

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony came to New York nearly three years ago with a clear mandate. It's pretty obvious, after the Knicks lost their sixth straight home game and dropped to 3-8 on Wednesday night, that this isn't quite what he had in mind.

This is what the Knicks signed up for, though. And it's only beginning.

This isn't a snap judgment after 11 games of what so far has been a lost basketball season in New York, regardless of borough. This isn't about whether the Knicks will "dig ourselves out of this hole," as Anthony put it Wednesday night after a crushing, 103-96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers -- the team with the best record in the East (10-1) and the team that bounced the Knicks out of the playoffs last season.

This is about a process that began unfolding the night the Knicks finally pulled off the massive trade that brought Anthony to New York in February 2011 -- a process that will only kick into overdrive if the Knicks don't find their way out of this.

If they don't, anyone can see what's coming: Mike Woodson gets fired, company man Herb Williams becomes the interim coach and the drumbeat begins in the background for John Calipari to make his long-awaited return to the NBA.

You don't have to be an NBA executive to see that coming, but I asked some, and they see it, too. The payroll is maxed out through next season, the tools for tax teams to acquire players in sign-and-trades next summer are gone and it's not like the Knicks can sell anyone on a fallback plan of reloading with a lottery pick in the coveted 2014 draft. The Knicks' pick goes to Denver (from the Anthony trade) or to Orlando (if it's worse than the Nuggets' pick).

"Where's the excitement?" one rival executive said this week. "They have no pick, and the excitement isn't coming from winning."

You can only sell success or hope in the NBA, and if the Knicks don't find a path to winning soon, they'll have neither when it comes time to convince Anthony to re-sign as a free agent next summer. But hope -- or the illusion of it -- can be manufactured. This is especially true when the next move on the chessboard could have been predicted when the Knicks sacrificed all their pieces for Anthony.

Since the Knicks doubled down on Anthony and his representatives with Creative Artists Agency, the organization has been reshaped in CAA's image. Woodson, a.ssistant GM Allan Houston and player personnel director Mark Warkentien all are represented by the agency. In re-signing another CAA client this past summer, J.R. Smith, the Knicks threw his brother, Chris, a bone in the form of a guaranteed contract. Chris is now toiling in the D-League while taking up a roster spot at MSG.

This kind of quid pro quo happens all the time in the NBA; the agent business, you may have heard, is not the cleanest. Across the Brooklyn Bridge, agent Jeff Schwartz managed to get his client, Deron Williams, re-signed with the Nets while getting another client, Jason Kidd, hired as the head coach. Another Schwartz client, Paul Pierce, came aboard once Kidd convinced Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause so the blockbuster trade with the Celtics could be consummated.

But the Knicks are all-in with CAA in ways that few of their rivals could even imagine. Days before training camp began, GM Glen Grunwald was pushed aside in favor of Steve Mills, who was brought back for a second tour of duty due to his institutional knowledge of the Garden and connections to the game's power brokers -- especially, William "World Wide Wes" Wesley, whose path to Garden influence was paved with the Anthony trade.

CAA, via Wesley, also represents a certain decorated college coach in Lexington, Ky. Given the path they've chosen, the Knicks can't get any of the NBA-ready players on Kentucky's roster, but they can get the coach -- and are perhaps the only team positioned to pay Calipari what it would take. One league executive surmised that the bidding would start at $8 million a year.

"That's what Wes will be pushing," one of the executives said. "That's what CAA will be pushing."

Executives differ on whether Calipari would want full personnel control in addition to the coaching title. "He wants full control, bottom line," one executive said. I agree with another exec who pointed out that, when it comes to the Knicks, it is understood that CAA has the power and that it would merely be channeled through Calipari. Either way, Calipari would instantly become the most powerful authority figure the Knicks have had since Isiah Thomas finally was run out of town. Somehow, that sounds just about right.

Never mind that Calipari's last NBA coaching job, in New Jersey, was a debacle that swept him away in a toxic wave of paranoia. This only makes him the ideal candidate to work for the Knicks.

The name of the game is to keep Melo happy, and in theory, it shouldn't take much. Anthony has the stage he wanted, the market he wanted, the complete run of what they still call the World's Most Famous Arena for reasons that have little to do with basketball. What more could he want?

To answer that, Anthony must look inward: Does he have what it takes to lift the Knicks out of their four-decade championship drought before his next contract becomes just another in a long line of burdens on the Garden's books? Is this where Anthony can finally elevate his own reputation as a great talent who could not fundamentally transform a franchise?

In the Knicks' tenuous state, a magnificent effort from Anthony wasn't enough to push them past a sleepwalking Pacers team on Wednesday night. What else could he have done? Anthony had 30 points, made all 10 of his free throws (and should have shot more) and pulled down 18 rebounds -- nine offensive. He was the best player on the floor until Paul George woke up in overtime.

"We've got to get out of it," Anthony said. "We've got to dig deep within ourselves and figure out how to dig ourselves out of this hole. We dug ourselves in the hole, now we've got to dig ourselves out."

Whether he realized it or not, Anthony's words were the ideal metaphor for an organization, a player and the unholy alliances that have followed him here.

With more to come.
 4 years ago '07        #10553
Chief|m 54 heat pts54
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 4 years ago '04        #10554
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ohm Youngmisuk

NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith said the New York Knicks are mentally "frustrated" and that he is panicking after they lost their fourth straight game.

The Knicks' 103-96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday was the team's sixth in a row at Madison Square Garden.

"We're frustrated," Smith said of where the team is mentally, despite most saying it's too early to panic. "Like you say, it's too early to panic, but me, personally, I'm panicking. I don't like this.

"I don't want to play 3-8 basketball," Smith continued, in regard to the Knicks' record. "I don't want to play 50-50 basketball. If we're going to be a championship-caliber team and call ourselves that, then we've gotta play like that. It can't be no other way."

The Knicks played hard Wednesday and put forth the kind of effort that coach Mike Woodson wants to see on a regular basis. In several of their previous losses at home, the Knicks put forth lackluster effort and weren't competitive at times.

"I'm proud of how we competed," Woodson said. "That's something I hadn't seen a lot this early season, and that was New York Knick basketball. Unfortunately we're a little snake-bitten right now in terms of getting over the hump."

The Knicks are 2-5 since losing Tyson Chandler to a fractured right fibula. Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 18 rebounds, and the Knicks led by three with 9.2 seconds left. But Iman Shumpert was called for a foul on a Paul George 3-point attempt, and George (35 points) made all three free throws to force overtime.

The Knicks put forth effort Wednesday night, but it hasn't always been there this season. And that has been frustrating for Smith.

"Lack of intensity," Smith said. "I hate to say it, but our defense's backbone is on Tyson, and Tyson's not here right now. And we know that, and he's not going to be available for a few weeks now, so we've gotta step it up individually. It's a team game, but individually we've got to take pride in guarding the ball, guarding our man. We have to enjoy stopping the other team."

Smith, who scored 21 points but missed an open 3 with 57.1 seconds left and a tip at the end of regulation, said the Knicks can't just talk about putting forth effort. They have to do it if they want to be a contender.

"We play too up-and-down," Smith said. "When we are on the highs, we are great. When we are on the lows, we are terrible. We got to have that steady pace throughout the whole year.

"We lost to teams we have no business losing to," Smith later added.
 4 years ago '07        #10555
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Callipari

cant be any worse than Woodson
 4 years ago '04        #10556
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

There are many issues beguiling the 3-8 Knicks, but the referees’ harsh treatment of Carmelo Anthony and coach Mike Woodson’s harsh treatment of Iman Shumpert are two of the biggies.

On his ESPN Radio show Thursday, Woodson defended how he handles Shumpert, meeting with him Thursday, while lobbying to officials Anthony isn’t getting superstar calls.

Woodson said he believes Anthony’s final shot in regulation Wednesday night — a 12-foot turnaround over Paul George — could have been called a foul as contact ensued. The Knicks lost in overtime, 103-96, for their fourth straight loss with a four-game road trip ahead, starting in Washington on Saturday before hitting the West Coast.

Asked if Anthony is not receiving calls normally a.ssociated with a superstar, Woodson said, “Absolutely. I’m not going to shy away from that either. Melo gets hit more than ever. If you go to that overtime game, we were down six. Melo got whacked coming across the middle and there was no call.

“I’ve been at this thing 30 years,’’ Woodson added. “Sometimes I’m starting to wonder what’s a foul and what’s not a foul. He’s a gifted offensive player who has a knack to draw contact and get fouled. Sometimes he comes up empty a lot of times.’’

Anthony does not do himself favors with the officials. Since last season, when he was the league leader in technical fouls, he has developed a penchant for railing at the referees on the court.

“You got to continue to play through it and not let the officials affect what goes on,’’ Woodson said. “The officials can’t see everything. I understand that. I thought he got bumped on [the final play]. He didn’t get the call. You have to move on.’’

The extra physicality against Anthony could be occurring because he’s returning from a torn left shoulder and never had surgery. Anthony is shooting just 40.6 percent and has been in morose moods after several of the losses and often has an ice pack on his shoulder.

“Melo has never once talked about his shoulder,’’ Woodson said. “I don’t think it’s been an issue.’’

The Knicks would have won the game had Shumpert not been nailed for a foul on George’s 3-point attempt with 5.2 seconds left in regulation. Slow-motion replays showed Shumpert grazed George’s elbow with his fingertips, and George made all three free throws to force overtime.

The Woodson-Shumpert rift reached a new dimension when the coach praised referee Joey Crawford and called out the young guard, saying he told Shumpert to attempt to intentionally foul George before the Pacers star got a shot up.

“That was the theme coming out of the huddle,’’ Woodson said. “Iman didn’t take the foul. He thought if he got too close, he would’ve pulled the trigger and fouled him in the act of shooting and ended up doing it anyway. He thought the shot was so far back he challenged the shot and wound up nicking his elbow.’’

Woodson felt he needed to have a chat with Shumpert, who is on the trading block.

“I’m not sitting here browbeating him,’’ Woodson said. “You say I’m hard on him. I don’t call it hardness. I call it coaching. You guys think it’s hard. It’s coaching. You got to learn your players and learn what buttons to push. Who can be challenged? Who can’t be challenged?”

Woodson reiterated Shumpert made a “mistake,” though the Knicks coach acknowledged Crawford could have swallowed his whistle after the minimal contact.

“Some officials may let that go, but Joe elected to call it,” Woodson said.

“He’s a young player,’’ Woodson added of Shumpert. “I like to think he’ll learn from this one. If he’s in the situation again, he’ll do the right thing.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10557
Jae_Hood_354 134 heat pts134
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can we get a fu*king w sh*t we go from having 1 of the best records last season to this
 4 years ago '04        #10558
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Mike Vaccaro

You see him plenty. He is an active owner, he attends games, he lives and dies with his teams the way you do and because he’s the man who signs the checks, his opinions occasionally become mandates, and sometimes controversies. You know James Dolan is in the arena, in both the literal and the literary sense.

You rarely hear him. On occasion, he offers brief remarks at press conferences. You can hear him sing, if you catch his band at a club. But it had been seven years since he sat down for an on-the-record interview about the Knicks and Rangers. He agreed to meet with The Post this week, inside a Madison Level suite at the Garden.

The Knicks and Rangers boss understands he is a lightning rod for the people that support his teams, that when things go wrong — and plenty has in the 15 years of his stewardship — you blame him. He gets it. And make no mistake, he is the boss, and wants to be the boss, and says unequivocally: “On my watch, it is my responsibility. All of it.”

But before we begin, it may help to hear something he had to say about music, his first love, a subject that not only fills his recreational hours but also infuses much of how he feels about his day job, too. And may inform what his expectations for his sporting teams are, and how he wishes they’d be achieved, as well as anything:

“I don’t play any solo stuff in my band,” he said. “I CAN solo. I can play the stuff and if you heard it you might think it’s OK, pretty good. But the other guitar players in my band — one of whom is my son [Aidan] — are much, much better guitar players than I am. To put the best sound out there, they play the solos.”

Mike Vaccaro: We’re inside Madison Square Garden, a place everyone knows you’re personally invested in, not only emotionally but also for $1 billion. With the political movement to relocate it, will we still be sitting here in 10 years?

James Dolan: Yes, I think we’ll be here. I think this building now — I’m obviously prejudiced — but I’ve heard from other people who would know that this is the best [arena] in the world. I’ve been traveling with the Eagles, I’ve seen 25 buildings the last four months, and nothing comes close to this. Some of them are very nice but this is in a whole other category. Putting history aside, just structurally, every seat in the building now, what the experience means. Even the seats way up there (points to upper rows) have a nice, clear view to the stage, have their own screen, it’s a pleasant experience, walk out of your seats into the upper concourse. You remember what it used to be like up there?

MV: Yes …

JD: Now it’s inviting. I do think it’s the best building in the world in the greatest city in the world. And why would you take that apart? We have to work it out.

MV: So you think the political climate will be such in 10 years that it will be worked out?

JD: It’s a long time and we’ll be paying, of course, close attention to it. Moving this place would be like moving the Empire State Building.

MV: I’m sure you heard the chants that have already started to fire Mike Woodson, which comes with the territory, naturally …

JD: Yeah …

MV: How patient will you be with him? He understood when he took the job the expectations that go with it. Will you give him a long rope?

JD: I have a lot of confidence in Woodson, and one thing I can say about Mike is he has the respect of all the players. They all respect him. And he treats them fairly and relatively equally, and that’s part of where the respect emanates from. And those are hard things to get from a coach. When a coach loses a team … that’s when a coach is kind of done.

MV: You’ve shown tolerance as an owner; [GM] Glen Sather had a lot of empty years with the Rangers before he showed success. Do you feel you’re more patient than an average owner?

JD: I really don’t compare myself with other owners. I’ll bet you I’m more patient than Mikhail [Prokhorov] is of his team. Mostly, I think it does not pay to be impatient, because you destabilize your team. It’s not like the players don’t want to win, it’s not like the owner doesn’t want to win; everybody wants to win, so it’s a question of: Can you get there? With Mike, I think he can get us there. Mostly, I think Carmelo [Anthony] can get us there, and the other players can get us there, they’re going to have to jell and I think Mike can do a lot to get that to happen. Because he has their respect.

MV: The Knicks started 18-5 last year and it didn’t end the way you wanted it to; at this point I a.ssume you’d flip that script?

JD: You know what? I wouldn’t take last year’s team for this year’s team, because this year’s team is more designed to be a playoff team, whereas last year’s team was 18-5 but look who was playing: we had Rasheed Wallace who was doing everything for us, right? And we just started losing player after player … by the time we got to the playoffs that 18-5 team wasn’t the team that was playing in the playoffs. If they were I think we would’ve beaten Indiana.

MV: So this bad start …

JD: It’s going right according to plan (laughs) …

MV: A few days before training camp you changed general managers; why do that so close to the start of camp? Did something change from the start of summer to the end?

JD: I didn’t time it, per se, like that. I’m surprised other folks were surprised about this. The general manager’s work doesn’t really occur at that time of year. If you’re going to change general managers that’s probably the right time to do it. The next available trade date is Dec. 15. You’ve just finished free agency and all that. It’s a lull period. The timing didn’t really have much to do with that. It was more about an initiative I have going on with both teams that I hired McKinsey & Company [a Manhattan-based global management consulting firm] for, because as I’ve gotten to look at both our organizations, it’s become apparent that we really need to reprocess both teams. We were using a lot of — not old, but “classic” methods and now with technology, and what’s available to a team to help improve, I didn’t think we were taking advantage of those things.

MV: So in evaluating these business solutions you came to the conclusion Glen Grunwald was lacking and Steve Mills a better fit?

JD: I hired McKinsey in the summer, and Glen is more of a “classic” GM, and he just wasn’t the guy to lead this initiative for the team, and it had to be someone in that position who could do it because I wasn’t going to do it. It needed someone behind it, someone who understood it, and that just wasn’t Glen’s forte. I think he was a good general manager, he’s got a great eye for talent, he knows basketball well, but the job description changed.

MV: I a.ssume you don’t read everything written about you, hear everything said about you, don’t spend time on message boards …

JD: To be honest with you, Mike, I barely read the paper. There’s just too much written … unless Barry [Watkins, MSG’s executive VP for communications and administration] says, ‘Here, read this …’ (laughs) If it’s on the back page, I obviously see it. And the thing is, whether it’s positive or whether it’s negative, it’s rarely insightful to me. My job is to know more than the writers.

MV: And you have sit-downs like this so infrequently …

JD: When it comes to criticism I always think, OK, let’s look back at which New York sports owner was loved by the fans when they owned the team? Do you know any?

MV: Well, people speak reverentially about George Steinbrenner …

JD: But not when he was there … (laughs)

MV: Not until the end …

JD: There you go.

MV: That said, fans have a visceral relationship with their teams, and a lot of the vitriol is aimed at the owner.

JD: Look, it’s all about wins and losses to the fans. They want to believe in their team. They want to believe their team has a shot at the championship. I think you, for example, understand the fan’s perspective, why a fan is a fan. They’re very emotionally involved. And when things aren’t going well they want to understand what went wrong and, inevitably, who’s to blame?

MV: The guy who writes the checks.

JD: Right. And in the end it’s all my responsibility. And when they see a player not playing well they wonder, “Why did we draft him?” or “Why did we trade for him?” and “What was the thinking?” and “Well that was pretty dumb.” And eventually it gets to the point of, well, this isn’t going to change unless somebody changes it and that’s when they look to the owner. Sometimes that isn’t emotionally satisfying for the fans and you get what you get.

MV: Do you think you’re a good owner?

JD: Yeah. I do.

MV: Why?

JD: I think I watch out for my fans. I try to give them a good product. I care for the teams. I’m emotionally involved and intellectually involved. I think an owner needs to be present. When an owner is not present that’s when things tend to go awry. The players, the coaches, the fans know there’s somebody in charge. They may not like what I’m doing but it’s much better than having nobody there. Nobody there just leaves you in despair.

MV: Are you a good boss?

JD: The teams aren’t much different than a lot of the other things I manage. If you’re the kind of person who likes your job, wants to continue to be better at it, wants resources, wants to continue to put out a better and better product, push the envelope, you’re going to like working for me. If you’re someone who says, well, I’ve accomplished what I’m going to accomplish, I want to sit here and do that, you’re probably not going to be as happy with me.
 4 years ago '04        #10559
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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MV: For Knicks fans there’s one word that riles their passion more than any other: Isiah.

JD: Amazing, isn’t it?

MV: And you surely know the panic that ensues when a Glen Grunwald gets fired and people wonder, “Is Isiah coming back?”

JD: I can’t control what’s in other people’s minds. I can tell you that he’s a friend of mine. We speak, but not as often as we used to because he’s really involved in other things now. We’ll message back and forth once in a while. We used to talk a lot more often. He seems to be moving into another phase of his life, he’s not as basketball-centric, he’s doing a lot of charity work, he got his masters [in education, from Cal-Berkeley], he actually uses me to bounce business ideas off of …

MV: Do you still consult him, too, about basketball ideas?

JD: Not really. For Isiah, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York. I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake, going forward in New York?

MV: Do you think that’s unfair? He did lose a lot of games here.

JD: He lost a lot of games! OK. Do I think he deserves another shot? Yeah. It just can’t be here. And I think he’s talented. I think he’s particularly talented at finding basketball talent. But I think he’s probably dismayed at this point. But I don’t see him coming back to New York. I couldn’t do that to him, and I couldn’t do that to the organization. He would probably do it as my friend but I couldn’t do it to him or his family. And you know what the press would do here. We’re interested in getting better and that situation would be such a distraction that it would actually hinder our ability to get better.

MV: If you could take a mulligan on the $100 million Amar’e contract …

JD: Nope.

MV: Because the first year was that important?

JD: We would not be where we are today without Amar’e. That summer, the summer of “The Decision,” there were a whole bunch of free agents, and the guys put their thing together in Miami, and Amar’e agreed to come to the Knicks, gave us a launch pad by which we could convince the other guys like Tyson [Chandler] to come, and ultimately Carmelo to come play with us. Do I think Carmelo would have come if we didn’t have Amar’e? No, I don’t think he would’ve. These free agents, when you get to this level of player — the Carmelos, the LeBrons, the Durants — the first thing they want before the money or anything else is to be on a winning team. They’ve got to believe they have a shot.

MV: So does it sadden you to watch him in a diminished state?

JD: I still have hope. You cannot ask for a guy to be more dedicated, more disciplined, than Amar’e. He does his rehab, he does his workouts, he does everything, he’s on it every day, and that’s worth a lot, too. If there’s justice in this world, his knee will heal up to the point where he can play more minutes and make the contribution he wants to make.

MV: A perfect irony — the Knicks’ last truly great moment came at the L.A. Forum when Bradley jumped into Reed’s arms and they beat the Lakers for the ’73 title. And now you own that building.

JD: I’m having a good time with it. It’s a significant move for the company; other than splitting off Cablevision and the transformation of the Garden, the most significant move we’ve made in 10 years, the company’s expanding to the west coast, focusing on growth, especially in the music and entertainment area.

MV: How important is music to you? Obviously you have the band [J.D. and the Straight Shot], you’ve been trailing the Eagles, you’ve opened for them. How much of that defines you?

JD: You are not what you own. Music is a big piece of who I am. I don’t own music. I create music, and I play it, but I do not own it. So if you want to get to know me, you’ll see music as a big piece of who I am.

MV: The Eagles come to you and say, “Come on up and play one song with us.” Which song do you pick?

JD: Whoa … I love so many Eagles songs …

MV: That’s the curveball question.

JD: They start off their show with a song called “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night” … maybe because I haven’t heard it as much as others but I love that song. And it’s just Glenn [Frey] and Don [Henley] sitting on amplifiers, playing guitars and to me that’s how I grew up playing music.

MV: You own the Garden now. But you were like a lot of kids who grew up around here and took the train to the Garden …

JD: The Old Garden, too.

MV: What does the building mean to you?

JD: I’m really proud of it right now. The money we put into it, this is a building that deserves this kind of investment and it’s a town that can appreciate it and actually expects it. People here have a high bar. And this place raises that bar.

MV: It does seem the Garden, as long as it has existed, has a.ssumed a certain amount of responsibility for reaction.

JD: You have to do things here which sometimes, financially, don’t make sense, in order to honor what the place is. Things like 12/12/12, even to the point you’re bringing in an act that you have to stretch in order to get them here. You need to do all that to keep this place as iconic as it is now. So there’ll be more pictures on the wall. Hopefully we’ll have some of basketball and hockey teams, too. We’re doing our best to do that.

MV: Concerts are easier to guarantee than basketball games.

JD: Which brings me to a point (laughs) …

At this point, Dolan plays a snippet from his iPod of the recent concert at The Cutting Room in NYC. About to play a song called “White Bird” by It’s A Beautiful Day. Dolan, on the tape, says, “Welcome everybody from the Rangers game and thank you for bringing me a win. (applause) It’s too bad you didn’t come to the basketball game. (groans) Actually next game — we will win the next game, it’s guaranteed.”

That’s it. How that turned into what showed up in the papers the next day …

MV: Let’s talk about the Rangers a little bit. Is there a line of succession in place when Sather retires? Will he choose his replacement?

JD: Ultimately it’s got to be my call but I have a tremendous amount of respect for Glen and still feel very lucky to have him. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and I don’t know if there’s anyone else in the NHL that’s better than him, but he’s got to be close to the top. His understanding of the game, his understanding of what makes a great player, and also he’s pulled off some trades I looked at him and said, “How did you do that?” As long as he’d like to stay I’d like to have him.

MV: A few years ago you took the mic at a postgame press conference and proclaimed the Rangers were on the right track for the Cup. Do you still feel that way?

JD: Yeah, I do. This is going to be an interesting year because we have a new coach and a new system. I’m heartened by what I’ve seen, it looks like the team is picking up on the coach’s strategy looks like they’re starting to jell, [Rick] Nash is coming back [Tuesday], we’ll see how that impacts the team. I like what I see. So much of hockey is playoffs, just like basketball, we’ve made the playoffs a bunch of times now but we haven’t … the closest we came was conference finals.

MV: While you’ve owned the Knicks and Rangers, the Yankees, Giants and Devils have all won championships, the Mets have been to the World Series. What do you feel when you see other teams’ successes?

JD: I don’t pay a lot of attention to the other sports. I’ve been here 15 years. So much of it is, it’s rare in a season when you see a team go through a season and dominate and go all the way through to the end. You want to be in those final four teams and then be hot, lucky, healthy … so the goal is to get there and then get the rest of the way.

MV: It seemed as if John Tortorella was on the brink of perfect New York stardom — no matter what, you had an opinion on him, good or bad. Are you sorry that didn’t work out?

JD: I miss John Tortorella. I’d visit Torts before a game and we would trade barbs for 10 minutes, he’d tell me about his [lousy] cable TV service and I’d be sitting there saying, “You can’t clear the puck out of your zone, what the hell’s wrong with you?” and he’d strike back and then play the game and I miss that. I’m developing a relationship with Alain [Vigneault] and he’s also a good guy, but Torts and I had a special relationship. It was fun for me. He banned me from the locker room for a while, all in fun. I miss that.

MV: What are your impressions of Mikhail Prokhorov?

JD: I don’t get to see him much but he clearly wants to win, which is a good thing. He’s the only guy paying more taxes than we are which is a club I wouldn’t necessarily want to be part of with him (laughs). I think he wants to win, I know he wants to win, he wouldn’t be putting the resources in that he is otherwise. But, I mean, he’s still my competitor. As a person I kind of know him, I’ve had lunch with him but other than that I don’t really know him well.

MV: One thing you share is that you’ve both expressed belief your teams can win a title this year. Do you really believe the Knicks can or was that just a usual declaration of high expectations?

JD: I think this team can win a championship.

MV: As presently constituted?

JD: I think there are a lot of teams that could win the championship this year. I think the Clippers can win. Are they going to? I hope not. I hope we win the championship. I think we have the pieces in place to do it. The skill level is there but there’s so much more to the game than that, and it’s really in the hands of the players. They have to believe in themselves, they have to put in the work, the effort, the discipline, they have to listen to the coach, they have to execute a strategy and put an effort in every game. And they have to get themselves to be the best team they can be at the end of March. It’s OK right now not to be the best team you can be. Last year by the end of the year we were struggling. I’d rather see it go the other way. I’m not happy, believe me, about the record where it is now. But the warts that are showing up now are things you can work on, things you can fix. Now you test the character of your team to see if it’s willing or able to do that, if the coach is able to do that, to make those fixes. Can they win the championship? Yes. They definitely can win the championship. There have been other championship teams that weren’t nearly as talented as this one. But they had something that this team needs to develop.

MV: There seems to be some question about the future of the Knicks City Dancers …

JD: Now you know why my band doesn’t play Madison Square Garden (laughs).

MV: How do you describe their status?

JD: When finishing the transformation we talked about all the other things we could do to make this season great for New York. We looked at our in-game experience for basketball and said “It’s tired.” So we went to a whole revamp and part was the Knicks City Dancers. We’ve actually invested more money into them, they’re working on new routines, they’ll be doing a lot more things that relate to Broadway and, hopefully, relate to New York, but it won’t be the old cheerleader squad. Honestly, we watched it the last couple of seasons, the women would go out there and they would perform and they wouldn’t even get applause. It just wasn’t engaging of the fan base. They will now be engaging. And they’re all talented enough to do this so it’s not a stretch for them. They’re not appearing as much right now but as they continue to work on their routines and their choreography you’ll see more and more of them. We try to get them in every home game but they’re going to miss some. But the in-game experience is what we’re looking at.
 4 years ago '04        #10560
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Happy Anniversary, Knicks. Not!

Thursday was the five-year anniversary of the Knicks officially embarking on their plan of blowing up the team, ducking under the salary cap and preparing for the 2010 free-agent class. Sources now say their No. 1 goal at the time was pairing LeBron James with Chris Bosh.

On Nov. 21, 2008, then Knicks president Donnie Walsh, with the team off to a 6-5 start, dumped the long-term contracts of his two best players, Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford, in two separate blockbuster trades.

It started a dizzying series of deals designed to go as far under the salary cap as possible in order to sign two superstars.

Instead of James and Bosh, the Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire the following summer to an uninsured five-year, $100 million contract and seven months later traded the farm for Carmelo Anthony.

Five years later, after 82 players have graced the 15-man roster since that 2008-09 season, the Knicks are 3-8 and in danger of spending this season battling for the seventh or eighth playoff seed. They don’t even hold a potential lottery pick for the superior draft awaiting this summer if they crash.

Five years later, the Knicks are on their third GM and probably will have a third head coach by next season.

Five years later, they have in Stoudemire a knee-impaired player not permitted to play in back-to-back games or more than 15 minutes a night on a James Dolan-inspired restriction.

Five years later they have a glum superstar in Anthony who could decide to take $30 million less to leave New York this summer to get out of a losing situation.

Five years later, their best playoff showing was a second-round ouster, accomplished last season and which may stand as the highlight of the five-year plan. The previous two seasons, the Knicks were knocked out in the first round.

Five years later, new president Steve Mills already is gathering a new analytics plan and strategy to deconstruct the roster with eyes on the 2015 free-agent class headed by Kevin Love.

Dolan’s intentions were good, he has no regrets, but many mistakes were made along the way. Happy Anniversary, Knicks.

In the semi-annual will-John Calipari-coach-the-Knicks-next-season rumor, the Kentucky coach was compelled to respond via Twitter.

“As I’ve said before, I have the greatest job in basketball any level,” he tweeted. “Why would I be interested in another job?’’

Dolan could be interested down the road because he loves dealing with the CAA agency, which represents Calipari. Calipari also is linked to William Wesley, a friend of Mills.

Lost in the commotion of the Indiana heartbreaker caused by the Iman Shumpert foul was the incident in the huddle between Metta World Peace and Tim Hardaway Jr., caught by MSG Network cameras. World Peace and Hardaway jawed at each other and the former Ron Artest gave the rookie a shove when an a.ssistant got between them. Was it a sign this team isn’t getting along on or off the court? One person familiar with the scene called it “a heat-of-the-battle moment.’’… Woodson said he believes the overtime loss to Indiana was a positive step. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel,’’ Woodson said. “We competed. It was a beautiful sign to see.’’
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