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Metta will change the atmosphere in the locker room

Howie Evans | 10/3/2013, 3:15 p.m.
The Knicks “Big Three”: Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. Can they hold off the Nets for city bragging rights?

One thing is for sure this coming 2013-14 Knicks season: The locker room will never be the same again. Not with Metta World Peace suiting up with his hometown team for what will be his 15th NBA season. Whew! Talk about time flying.

Seemed like yesterday that Peace was running with the Riverside Church Hawks when he, Lamar Odom and Elton Brand were the kings of AAU basketball. One summer, the trio led the Hawks to a 90-2 record, beating every team and winning every AAU tournament they played in with the late Ernie Lorch on the bench.

Peace, along with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith and the highly touted rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. met with the media at the Knicks’ annual preseason media day at their Westchester County training camp in Greenburgh, N.Y.

Before Peace and the guys had their sit-down with the media, Steve Mills, the Knicks’ newly named president and general manager, had a brief Q-and-A with the media.

“I am really excited to be here today. It came suddenly, and I am happy to be back,” said Mills, who spent 10 years as the president of Madison Square Garden prior to this position. “Jim [James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company] approached me about rebuilding the basketball organization.”

He answered his first question regarding the status of Anthony. “We have every intention of making Carmelo a Knick for a long time,” said Mills with a smile.

Anthony, when handed the mike, said, “I don’t want to put any pressure on our team. It’s hard for me to say what would be a successful season. Fifth plus?” Anthony said he doesn’t want the whole load on himself. “Everybody has to be a leader. Hold myself and each other accountable.”

The Knicks will have 10 days of practice before their first preseason game on Friday, Oct. 11 against Boston at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center at Providence, R.I. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.