What's up Knicks fans? It's been a busy offseason with some positive steps taken by our team. I'm working out here in Seattle getting myself prepared for what I hope will be the start of something great for the Knicks. I can't wait for the first day....
But I know there is a lot of curiosity out there about our team and I know there are also a lot of skeptics...I feel the same way, too. I am feeling a lot of things this summer and I wanted to find a way to get these feelings off my chest. I hope you don't mind me jumping into the blog world. I admire how Gilbert Arenas has developed his blog into a place he can talk about things openly - and not just basketball. I think some people get the wrong idea about me because of the way I talk to the media....I don't say a lot of controversial things and I don't criticize people....but I have my thoughts on things that I usually keep to myself. Until now!
Ha..ha, just kidding. A little.
First off, let me start off by admitting that I do read the blogs every now and then. Maybe I shouldn't, but I like to know what our fans think and what people are saying...And not just always the positive stuff that they tell me when they see me in person (lol).....so let's address some topics head on that I've seen on Alan Hahn's Knicks Fix blog with fan comments and their complaints about me.....
THAT I'M NOT A WINNER: First off, you win as a team and you lose as a team...but I do understand that the better players and leaders on your team have to provide more then a younger player would. No, I've never played on a winning team since college. BUT this year I'll be playing for my ninth coach in nine seasons.
I've had a few disappointments along the way in Chicago and New York and also bad timing with injuries. I thought my best chance was two years ago, but then injuries to myself, David Lee and Q-Rich happened. What other team could lose basically three starters at one time and still have a chance to get to the playoffs? Then last year was a total mess. We never recovered from all that off the court stuff that happened! And that's not an excuse, that's just a fact. I still tried to come to play every single night. I didn't always play without making mistakes, but I was there every single night.
I know I have this label and I don't want it. I don't think I've ever been the kind of player who looked satisfied with losing.
DEFENSE: This is one of the biggest knocks on my game and this is an area that I want to and have to get better at. That's why when I play ball in the summer I always try to guard all the best offensive players that I can find because that, along with watching tape, is the only way I will get better at it.
It helps to have a scheme or set way that you play defense, as well. Bruce Bowen is such a good defender, not because he's the best one-on-one, but for the simple fact that he knows where to push you to on the court. He knows where his help is. That's what he's good at. No good defender can stop a good offensive player. They can try to make things tough, but let's be honest they can't stop them. But, again, this is something I WANT to be good at and, with the work I'm putting in, I WILL get better at!
SHOT SELECTION: This is the biggest area that I HAVE to improve on and where I'm criticized the most...and for good reason. I HONESTLY feel like I can make every shot that I take. You have to understand that's how I feel when I play. Some nights it happens but a lot of times it doesn't. And I believe this along with WINNING is the difference in me being a good player and a great player.
I'm going to continue to get better at it...I know you're probably thinking, 'he's in his ninth year, if it hasn't happened already, it won't.' There's some truth to that, but to me, I don't believe it. Like I said I'm going on my ninth coach in nine years and each had a different philosophy on how they wanted to use me. But through it all I've gotten better each year I've been in the league. And the best is still yet to come....
COACH D'ANTONI: I was really close with Isiah and didn't know who would be coming to coach us and was pretty nervous about that. When I found out it was Coach D'Antoni, I didn't know what to do. I was so excited because that's the style of ball I like to play. This is the best chance I may ever have at proving I belong as an elite player.
I went out and met with him in Vegas and we hit it off right away. Talked about our team, plans for the future and just talking to him you can tell that he really believes in his system and his coaching abilities. He's a straight shooter, I liked that.....
KNICKS FUTURE: I don't want to make any promises or guarantees because, personally, you guys have heard that every year and you have to be tired of it. I know I am.