Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Knicks' Media Day Part I: The Jeremy Lin Decision and moving on
The Knicks held their annual Media Day this morning and there was some things that had to be discussed beside the usual ‘what are the expectations for this team?’
Of course, the Knicks believe they’ve assembled a team that can compete for a championship. Mike Woodson said it. (Mike D’Antoni said it last season and that didn’t work out so well).
But the decision to not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer for Jeremy Lin had yet to be addressed by anyone from the Knicks’ hierarchy. Some players, including Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, already gave their opinion. But general manager Glen Grunwald and Woodson hadn’t before today.
Glen, your thoughts:
“Basically, it comes down to the fact that Houston made a commitment to him that we weren't prepared to make,” Grunwald said. “But I'm very happy for Jeremy that things worked out for him personally and for his family and I wish him the best. But I'm more excited for our team by the team we assembled right now.”
Grunwald was later asked how disappointed he was that the Rockets changed the initial offer of four years for $28.8 million (that by all accounts the Knicks planned to match).
“You go through free agency and you have a lot of irons in the fire and a lot of options available to you and we felt that the Raymond Felton option was the best one at the end of the day and we're very excited to have Raymond back,” Grunwald said. “We're not disappointed at all.”
When Woodson was asked about Lin, he said, “I’m not going to discuss Jeremy Lin. I think as a franchise we wish Jeremy nothing but the best. It's a process that we went through and we were able to get a player by the name of Raymond Felton, and a guy by the name of Jason Kidd, a Pablo [Prigioni] in here - three solid point guards that I think will help our ball club as we move down the road. As an organization and as a coach I wish Jeremy nothing but the best.
“This day really is about I think the team that we fielded this summer and we need to focus in on that.”
Honestly, I couldn’t agree with Woodson more. You have to turn the page and move and that’s what we’re doing.
Naturally the Knicks like the roster they have put together.
Marcus Camby said this team reminds of him of the 1999 team that he played on - with Kurt Thomas - that reached the Finals. Chandler and Kidd said it reminded them a little of their Dallas Mavericks’ team that won it all two years ago.
The reasons are they have some young guys, but plenty of older guys with experience who want to win. When Rasheed Wallace signs, the Knicks will have four players who are 38 or older and all four have been to the NBA Finals. Kidd and Wallace own championship rings.
“I think we’ve got a legitimate shot here, as anybody in the NBA this season, to reach that goal,” Woodson said.