TARRYTOWN–It was a blast from the past with hope for the future at the Knicks’ annual pre-season media day, which took place here at their Madison Square Garden Training Center.
Some more-than-familiar faces may dot the roster for this 2012-13 Knicks team. Back for a second go-round were Kurt Thomas, who came to the Knicks in 1998 as a free agent and spent seven seasons with the team before being traded to Phoenix. Also returning to the Knicks is Raymond Felton, who came in as a free agent in 2010 and was traded to Denver in 2011 for Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov in a three-team deal that brought in Carmelo Anthony and others.
Marcus Camby also returns for a second go-round. He first suited up for the Knicks from Toronto in 1998 in exchange for Charles Oakley. He was traded along with Mark Jackson after the 2002 season. Another seasoned vet, Ronnie Brewer, will begin his seventh NBA season, his first with the with the Knicks if he sticks around. He’s recuperating from a knee injury.
The tone of the media session was upbeat as the players were paraded in one and two at a time to interact with the media. Anthony was first up, and he made it clear why when discussing his well-known rep for letting the pill fly.
“I’m done trying to score 30, 35 or 40 points for us to win a basketball game. I don’t want that role anymore,” he claimed. But in the next breath, and with a huge smile across his face, he said, “I don’t want to say I’m not going to score the basketball. I can never stop doing that. That’s what I do best.”
It’s up to Knicks coach Mike Woodson to find a comfort zone for Melo. He will also have to find a comfort zone for Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, both of whom spent the off-season working on their low-post games. How will Woodson use them? “Our job is to continue to improve,” said Stoudemire, who worked with the guru of low-post play, Hakeem Olajuwon.
The bottom line for the Knicks and Woodson is to find a way to incorporate the talents of his key players. If that doesn’t happen … well!