CLEVELAND — The Knicks won’t be witnesses to the Cavaliers’ championship ring ceremony or banner being raised to the rafters.
Jeff Hornacek said the schedule dictates that after warming up before Tuesday night’s opener, the Knicks go back to the locker room during the ceremony.
“They have a lot of people that come out,” Hornacek said after the morning shootaround. “We’ll be back in the locker room, trying to stretch and trying to stay loose. It’s kind of a tough thing to do when you come out here and get loose a little bit and then you go back to the locker room and have a 20-minute break where you get stiff again. We’ll have them back there doing some things and then they’ll get a little bit warm-up time.”
When Carmelo Anthony was asked what he would be thinking during the ceremony, he said, “Wishing it was me.” Hornacek had said he hoped watching the ceremony would motivate the Knicks. He said some could choose to watch it, but they likely would use that time to stay loose and have another pre-game meeting.
“Sometimes it helps [to motivate], sometimes they just want to ignore it,” Hornacek said. “Maybe it’s good for some of the young guys to see it. The old guys are like, ‘I don’t want to watch that.’ It’s whatever their choice. I think most of our guys prefer just to get ready and focused for the game.”
The Knicks are excited to get the season started. They have 10 new players, three new starters, a new coach and lofty expectations of breaking a three-year playoff drought. It will hinge upon being healthy and building chemistry as the year goes on.
“The mentality that we have is different, giving ourselves a chance to just come in here on the road, first game, and come out of here with a win,” Anthony said. “I think we believe that we can win basketball games now. We have to put that into fruition. I think that’s the only mindset we should have at this point.”