So much for double entendres or is that dubious entendres. Either way there was so much more happening on media day than the mind games between Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets. The reported four-way trade will be no more than a mind game until it actually happens. Right now it just looks like Anthony’s folks trying to force a trade to either the Bulls or the Knicks by forcing everybody’s hand to do it now instead of waiting for free agency. (That’s what I don’t get — if he really wants to play for the Knicks why not be patient? If he rejects the Nets deal and Denver refuses to settle for less (the Knicks stuff minus a first rounder), every one in Denver will be miserable. So why be so impatient, Carmelo? The Knicks will pay you in July, CBA be damned.)
Anyway, yesterday was media day and we got to focus a bit on who is actually on our team for a change of pace. Like you, we weren’t there but everybody else was and it seemed that everyone was very excited about this new clear start, especially now that we have a TEAM that even the President of Basketball Operations would claim as his own.
To start, Eddy Curry made it to the training camp on schedule, although he is getting media lashes for being the last one to report in. Curry, who has had a series of misfortunes over the past couple of years, is considered the second most important player-contract, behind Studdy, to the Knicks’ immediate future. His expiring contract may be the key to a great trade before the February trade deadline or it could become the cap space needed to bring in a super free agent to team with Stoudemire. Or Curry could finally have a multi-sentence conversation with Coach Mike D’Antoni and win back the starting center job, an opportunity which he is reportedly losing to Timofey Mozgov according to rave reviews out of pre-camp camp.
A defiant Curry told the media that he already demonstrated his desire to go the extra mile to play by remaining in the area after the season ended:
“Twisted?’ Curry says the Knicks got “twisted.” That negative sentiment was a relatively small expression of Curry’s poor relationship with Knicks management. Curry is clearly ready to be traded or bought out so that he can go back to Chicago, but he also indicated that he did not have a speaking relationship with Mike D’Antoni who is also clearly ready for Curry to be traded or cut.
This failure of communication things tend to work (or not work) two ways, however the onus for making sure that the team is not impacted by it is on the leaderof the team. Curry and D’Antoni having a bad relationship is not a good sign. This situation is very reminiscent of the Stephon Marbury one, where Donnie claimed he was going to give a disfavored player a fair start, but Coach was left to design a way of legitimizing a players’ bench end seat. This is not a good situation to deal with when trying to create a new and better culture.
Is this situation going to develop into a bigger problem like the Marbury fiasco during the Duhon transition when the Knicks didn’t tell the turht about promising Duhon the starting gig?