It is Fashion Week in Manhattan, and the Knicks were in vogue Thursday at the corporate office of Hugo Boss. They unveiled new uniforms with bigger numbers, more pronounced lettering and the inscription "once a Knick, always a Knick" embossed inside the collar.
Chandler, the NBA's defensive player of the year, spent part of his summer earning a gold medal with Team USA at the London Olympics. He took back a sense of pride in helping his country win and a feeling that he had bonded with a key teammate.
"I think it was a great opportunity for me and Carmelo [Anthony] to be on a team like that," he said. "Last year when I came , it was so quick, the season went fast and I didn't have the opportunity to bond with the players off the court as much as you would like to. To be able to spend time, join forces off the court, is good."
Chandler said the hand he hurt in a victory over Tunisia has healed and gave credit to Anthony for his success on the world stage, dismissing the insinuation by some that Anthony wasn't a team player last season. "Sometimes guys like Melo get a bad rap, but I think it's unworthy," Chandler said. "He wants to win. I think he showed people that he's a winner. He can lead a team. He led us in so many points on our Olympic journey. If he can lead on that platform, he can lead anywhere."
Chandler also had kind words for LeBron James, his teammate in London. "I have a different appreciation for LeBron," he said of the Miami Heat star. "Just watching him, competing against him. The biggest thing I take away is that he's a natural leader. He doesn't get credit for that, but he led us in many ways, demonstrated what winning was all about. We talked about how competitive the East is going to be. Ultimately, they are the champs and are going to be the champions until someone takes the crown away from them. "
Stoudemire also had a busy summer, working with Hakeem Olajuwon on his post moves and losing some weight. He said his back is fine. Asked why he sought Olajuwon's help, Stoudemire said, "As Michael Jordan once said, 'You can never stop improving.' "