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D'Antoni, Gallo had tried to ignore talk

Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari says he's trying to

Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari says he's trying to ignore rumors that he'll be traded to Denver as soon as Tuesday. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Danilo Gallinari had heard the rumblings before. The trade rumors regarding Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony had hovered over him for months, which is precisely why he seemed unflappable yesterday afternoon, hours before a deal finally was reached late Monday night.

"Actually, to be honest, it's been the same thing it was a month ago, two months ago, last year, two years ago," he said of the ongoing rumors involving him during his three years with the team. "All this stuff that has gone on in the papers really doesn't affect me. I don't have time and energy to think about that."

Coach Mike D'Antoni took a similar approach yesterday afternoon. He insisted the team's focus was on tomorrow night's game against the Bucks, but he at least saw the light at the end of the tunnel - and the end to all the Melo madness. "Oh yeah, Thursday'll be a good day," he said. "That'll be a good day."

But the players who wound up being included in the deal - Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov - may have another opinion about that.

During the afternoon, Gallinari - who said neither D'Antoni nor team president Donnie Walsh had spoken to him about his future - said he'd be disappointed to be traded.

"To be honest with you, it's tough to leave New York," he said. "It's tough. But it's a part of the NBA life and it's a part of how the NBA works. You've got to live with that. You've got to control what you can control. You cannot control all the other stuff."

Mozgov, who had appeared to be a sticking point in a Knicks-Nuggets deal, said he had been keeping up with the trade rumors by reading newspapers. Asked how it felt to be the most important player in the NBA, he smiled and said: "Thank you."

He added, "You told me this, I didn't know. I don't know. It's great, but I don't feel nothing."

Though the Knicks were preparing for Wednesday's game "like normal," according to D'Antoni, the weight of the uncertainty had loomed large. Especially on his players.

"I'm sure they are really on edge, no doubt about it," the coach said. "As everybody else. You have to be. I was talking to Raymond before. His phone blew up over the weekend. And that's part of the business now. It's not great, but we'll deal with it and like everybody else, we'll see what comes down and be ready to go as professional as we can be."

Notes & quotes: Amar'e Stoudemire was excused from practice. He flew to Phoenix to be with his children Monday and appeared on the George Lopez late-night show. Eddy Curry also was absent because of travel issues, the team said.

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