Knicks see age as veteran leadership

Jason Kidd talks to the media after practice.

Jason Kidd talks to the media after practice. (Oct. 2, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- None of the older Knicks needed a walker or cane to get to the locker room after Tuesday's nearly three-hour practice. But cracks about their age already are being used as motivation.

It's something that was probably mentioned at the team dinner and meeting Monday night just hours after Mike Woodson said the veteran Knicks can compete for a championship this season.

Woodson, Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd brought up Tuesday that the Mavericks' average age when they won the title two years ago was around 30 and the Knicks aren't much different. Theirs on opening night, with the signing of Rasheed Wallace, will be 32.

"The guys that we do have, they bring veteran leadership," Chandler said. "And they bring a calmness around the team that we didn't have before. It's only going to benefit us. In order to win in this league you really need veterans."

"It's veteran teams that are winning titles," Woodson said.

Kiddspeak

Kidd helped make Dirk Nowitzki a better player and hopes to have a similar impact on Carmelo Anthony.

"That's the plan," Kidd said before saying how similar the two players are offensively. "Dirk is now one of the top players in this league. Hopefully, I can do the same thing with Melo."

Kidd also was asked about Mavs owner Mark Cuban saying he was disappointed that he left because he thought he was returning to Dallas.

"Everybody has their opinion," Kidd said. "I was a free agent and I'm here in New York and that's the bottom line."

Knick-knacks

Wallace hasn't signed a contract yet, but he's been at the Knicks' practice the last few days and could officially join them Wednesday . . . Woodson said he won't have "two-a-days" during training camp, just one long practice to help keep the players' fresh . . . The Knicks added LaSalle Thompson, former Penn State coach Jerry Dunn and Dave Hopla to Woodson's staff. Former NBA coach Chris Ford is a consultant.

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