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Media Day at Knicks-Ville
NEW YORK (BASN)— – There are six and possibly seven (if Rasheed Wallace comes out of retirement as expected) core new players for this version of the 2012 New York Knicks. Some people say that they’re old, but one thing is for certain, new Knicks coach, Mike Woodson doesn’t see it that way and he firmly believes, “young teams don’t win championships in this league.” So there it goes a veteran bench core to go along with the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony.
A lot can be said for the average age of the Knicks in being they are the oldest team collectively since the 2000 Toronto Raptors and Portland Trailblazers. But, if one were to look at it only Jason Kidd (39) and Marcus Camby (38) are penciled in as core players in the nine-man rotation. Kurt Thomas (40) and Wallace (38) will play but probably only in a foul trouble or injury situation. But, wouldn’t fans rather have those types of guys in an important road or Playoff game as opposed to young and inexperienced players? LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant won’t take any prisoners when they play. These are guys (the Knicks veterans) that have been there before and have seen more tight games than can be counted.
“We think we’re not old, but we’re more experienced,’’ Knicks GM Glen Grunwald said. “You mention the age of our team, the team that won the championship a couple of years ago (Mavericks) was over 30 (30.4). We have excellent veterans.”
Again, Woodson is fine with the age, also mentioning that he had a young team in Atlanta and couldn’t get to the NBA Finals. Woodson said Stoudemire, Anthony and Chandler, while still in their primes, needed aging veterans surround them before the window closes.
“We felt we needed veteran guys around those guys,’’ Woodson said. “There aren’t young teams winning NBA titles. Years ago in Atlanta, we had a good run taking young players, trying to build a championship team. This go-round for me, I’m able to take a veteran team with Jason, Camby, Thomas, Ronnie Brewer. It’s important for me from a coaching standpoint. If we can stay healthy, it’s the name of the game, I think we got a shot.’’
There’s quite a bit of optimism with the Knicks and rightfully so. But, that is the case with the other 29 teams in the NBA. And yes that would include the prohibitive ‘bottom feeders’ as well. When the record is zero wins and zero loses and no key injuries (at least nothing that happened in a real game) and the locker-room is rosy and tranquil, every team talks the ‘good talk’.
This year Knicks indeed have something to prove in a variety of areas: Can Stoudemire and Anthony co-exist and thrive in the frontcourt together? Some critiques say no, but those critiques aren’t Kidd or Felton. Can these older guys stay healthy and hungry? Did the Knicks as an organization make a mistake in not going after Phil Jackson? As always around the Knicks, there are always questions to be answered. This team as a whole, in the early stages seems primed and ready for the challenge and they say, ‘bring it on.’
Jerald L. Hoover