Knicks coach [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] will not be sharing a gondola ride on the Venice canals with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] this October.
According to two people familiar with the situation, the Knicks' planned preseason jaunt to Italy to hold training camp and play a couple of exhibition games in Milan and Rome has been cancelled by the NBA.
The Knicks were going to be one of four clubs to be part of the fourth annual NBA Europe Live. But according to sources, because of the recession that also has hit Europe, promoter EA Sports has downsized the junket.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank denied the NBA Europe event has been cancelled altogether and indicated at least one club will be heading overseas, but not the Knicks. An announcement is coming after the All-Star break.
Having the Knicks in Italy was a natural, because their rookie, Gallinari, hails from Milan and D'Antoni was a coach and player with AC Milan. Nevertheless, Knicks brass is hesitant about allowing Gallinari to play this summer for the Italian National Team, which has Olympic-qualifying games. The Knicks want Gallinari to play in the Las Vegas summer league, but prefer him to rest his back the rest of the summer.
Team president [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] declined comment, but a source close to him said the team has notified Skidmore College it will hold its training camp for the second straight year at Saratoga Springs.
Because of the expected trip to Italy, the Knicks had cancelled their previously scheduled preseason games stateside. The Knicks are now trying to rearrange their preseason schedule. A source said the Knicks will play their preseason opener in Albany at the state capital's downtown arena, 25 minutes from Saratoga Springs.
When Walsh and D'Antoni took over, they agreed to change the Knicks training-camp venue from Charleston, S.C., as a way to change the culture. The Knicks had trained in Charleston since 1990.
Commissioner David Stern is a big proponent of expanding the NBA to European markets and has even talked of having an expansion team there. Last year, the Nets, Heat, Wizards and Hornets played games in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and London.
There is a chance the Knicks will be invited back to Italy in 2010.
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