GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Stephen Curry was leaving the gym Wednesday here at the MSG Training Center with the exhausted nets singed and the Knicks salivating after his predraft workout. Mike D'Antoni approached the Davidson star just before he reached the exit.
"We can't draft you," D'Antoni said.
A perplexed Curry, who has made it clear the Knicks would be his preferred destination, offered a quizzical, "Why?"
"Because," D'Antoni continued, " Allan Houston said he doesn't want to be the second-best shooter in Knicks history."
Curry has been anticipating this day since he declared for the NBA draft and seemed content with his performance in front of D'Antoni, Donnie Walsh and the rest of the Knicks staff, including, yes, Houston.
"It seems every time my name comes up, everybody says New York," Curry said. "I mean, who wouldn't want to play here?"
That is now for fate - and Walsh - to ultimately decide. The Knicks, who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday, have the eighth overall pick and there has been talk that some teams ahead of the Knicks - Washington (No. 5), Minnesota (No. 6) and even Oklahoma City (No. 2) - hold the 6-3 guard with the sniper's touch in high regard. There are other teams, such as the Bobcats (12th) and Trail Blazers (24th), who might look to trade up in order to get him.
"It's great for me to go as high as I can, but coming here would be equally as fun for me," Curry said. "I'm going into it with an open mind and not hoping for a team to pick me up, just making the best of whatever situation I come into. I'm just excited to see what happens."
As the Knicks attempt to set the table for a run at LeBron James in 2010, they need star-quality players like this. It helps that James and Curry are friends. Curry promised he would do his part in the recruiting process.
"I got him on the text message contact list," Curry said.
Other than the Knicks, Curry has worked out only for the Bobcats - his hometown team, where his father, former NBA player Dell Curry, works - and has a workout scheduled next week with the Wizards. If Curry shuts it down at this point, it would give a strong indication that the Knicks have all but guaranteed him the pick at No. 8, which has been speculated for the past month.
At yesterday's workout, Curry was joined in the six-man group by another highly-regarded prospect in Jrue Holiday. The UCLA freshman didn't sound confident in his performance - "Stupid turnovers, little things like that," he said.