EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Shane Larkin is miffed and confused. He doesn't understand why Knicks president Phil Jackson has been so critical of him throughout the offseason.
Larkin, who spent last season with the Knicks, was barbecued by Jackson on a couple of occasions, the latest coming last month in an ESPN.com report chronicling the Knicks' 2014-15 campaign. Jackson said Larkin has "tiny" hands, which he believes causes problems with Larkin's ballhandling skills, and thinks the point guard doesn't use his speed and quickness the right way.
"I've never met a man so concerned with another man's hands," Larkin said Monday. "But it's all good. I don't have nothing but love for Phil Jackson and that whole organization. They are good. I'm a Brooklyn Net."
Asked if he was surprised that another team's front-office official would say some of the things Jackson has said about him, Larkin cited Jackson's straightforward approach.
"Nah, he's old-school," Larkin said. "He's blatant about what he says and knows what he wants, and obviously he has the jewelry to say what he's got to say. He's proven that he's a great leader, and if that's what he feels about me, then that's what he feels about me. I'm not on his team anymore, so he doesn't have to worry about it."
Jackson also took shots at Andrea Bargnani in the same articles. Bargnani played in only 29 games with the Knicks last season because of injury and Jackson called him "a big tease," questioning his hustle and depicting him as a "malingerer."
Bargnani, who has missed 175 games in the past four seasons because of injury, said over the summer that he would respond to Jackson's barbs at some point. But he apparently isn't ready to throw any quips back in Jackson's direction yet. At least not publicly.
"I don't like to talk about other people in the media," Bargnani said. "I'm going to be focused on the training camp and the next experience. I can talk about me, myself as a player, how much I love basketball. It's my passion. It's my life."
No McCullough timetable
Chris McCullough didn't redshirt during his freshman season at Syracuse, but he might find himself doing just that in a sense this season with the Nets. The rookie forward still is rehabilitating from the torn right ACL he suffered in college, and Nets coach Lionel Hollins has indicated that McCullough might not get on the court until January.
But there is no timetable, and the thinking is that McCullough likely will sit out the entire season as if he were redshirting in college. With no first-round pick in the June draft, the Nets might view McCullough as their 2016 selection.
"Yeah, I definitely agree with it," McCullough said. "I'm not rushing to get on the court yet. I'm just going to take my time and get healthy first."