KNICKS HOPE LAMPE GLOWS BRIGHT AND LONG
August 16, 2003 -- Maybe two months. Maybe two years. . . . No one seems to be able to pinpoint, or even provide an educated estimate, of when Maciej Lampe might become a regular contributor in the Knicks' universe. But most - including Lampe himself - seem certain it will come.

"It all depends," said the 18-year-old, 7-0 Lampe, taking a break from a summer camp for about 250 kids at Basketball City right before Thursday's blackout.

"I never played in the NBA," he added. "I don't know how good the guys are."

Trust us on this one: They're pretty good.

"I'm just hoping to work hard every day and we'll see. It all depends on how quickly I develop.

"It might take a month or two years . . . you never know," Lampe added, one day after signing a three-year deal worth an estimated $2.88 million, a contract that had to wait until a buyout agreement could be reached concerning his Euroleague pact with Real Madrid. "It all depends on my game. My goal is to learn as much as I can the first year."

The Knicks, who have stockpiled more size than any other team in the galaxy, were impressed by Lampe's showing in the summer league, especially his time in the Rocky Mountain Revue in Utah, where he was an All-League pick. They were also impressed with his versatility.

But how and when Lampe - a projected lottery pick who dropped to the second round because of the contract issues - will translate that versatility into production is anybody's guess.

"He's such a talented guy and he picks things up real quick, but it's still hard to say," said Herb Williams, one of the Knicks assistant coaches. "He doesn't shy away from working. He picked the offense up real well this summer at two or three different positions. Any time you've got a guy like that, it just depends. He's 18. He's going to make mistakes. But it just depends."

Lampe insisted he never had any doubts about resolving his contract for this season. It was merely a matter of how badly the Knicks wanted him.

But Lampe is certain of one thing: He must produce. Eventually. In New York.

"I have a lot of work to do," Lampe said. "And in New York, you've got to
go out and prove every day that you're capable."
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