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Who could ever imagine ancient Allan Houston healthier than 19-year-old Italian Stallion Danilo Gallinari? With the once-crippled Houston signing another [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] New York Knicks contract today or tomorrow, the Knicks 6-foot-10 rookie likely will be on the sidelines watching the 37-year-old shooting guard when the Knicks open training camp Tuesday in Saratoga.
Gallinari is felled by a summer-long bout with back soreness, still watching voluntary workouts, not playing in them. Standing under the Garden marquee yesterday for a community event, he sounded pessimistic about going full blast at Skidmore College in five days - a development that could devastate his rookie year.
"I'm watching the guys, trying to get my back back," Gallinari said. "I can't say if I'll be ready or not ready. I want to be in training camp, but it will be a long season and I want to take care of my back and not rush."
As Gallinari spoke, a fan walked by and shouted to him, "Bring it hard; we need it." He still can't bring it at all. Gallinari revealed his back first acted up during practices leading up to his July summer-league debut against Cleveland. He missed the last four summer-league contests, then withdrew from the Italian national team in mid-August.
On the contrary, Houston is feeling his oats. He has been scrimmaging with the Knicks for the past two weeks. His addition gives the Knicks 17 players for 15 spots, though [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] Stephon Marbury remains a strong waiver-wire candidate despite Donnie Walsh's pronouncement he'll be in camp.