Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Andray Blatche fires back at Knicks' Iman Shumpert
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andray Blatche's ears are working perfectly fine, so he was able to hear the chatter emanating from the end of the Knicks' bench during Wednesday's preseason finale at Nassau Coliseum.
Iman Shumpert was the main culprit blasting Blatche, screaming out loudly every time Blatche got the ball in his hands: "He's horrible! He's terrible!"
Let's just say Blatche wasn't impressed.
“They are wasting their own energy," he said following practice at the PNY Center Saturday.
Blatche said he doesn't know Shumpert, and also he had no problem returning a verbal jab of his own in the direction of the Knicks' second-year guard who's out until at least January rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“I mean, he wasn’t playing, so he had to do something," Blatche said. "You're sitting down on the bench with a suit on, you’ve got to do something. So, I guess that was his job.”
But after the way things ended in Washington, with him getting amnestied and paid to go away, Blatche understands he's probably going to be subjected to a lot of heckling this season. The Knicks just appeared to get a head start.
"If I was on that bench and I was one of their players, I’d do the same thing," Blatche said. "But I only heard it probably once, when I was right there by the bench. Other than that, I’m blocking it out and I’m focusing on the game."
Blatche has officially made the Nets' roster, something most people figured would be a foregone conclusion provided he kept his head on straight. However, he said he doesn't feel as if he's accomplished anything yet and must continue to work towards securing a guaranteed contract for next season.
Blatche threw props Reggie Evans' way for pushing him these last few weeks.
"I’ve got to give him a lot of credit," Blatche said. "He’s been on me, had me in the weight room with him a lot, conditioning with him and [doing] pool workouts. So having a guy like that who’s always there for you, always pulling you where he’s going, knowing that he has that working mentality and name ...
"To put yourself with him, I feel like that’s what’s helping me a lot."