Something compelled me to write a recap on last night's episode of Knicks Night Live. I've never posted anything related to KNL previously but I've decided to give it a try. Instead of digging for the latest rumors or racking my brain for Carmelo trade ideas, I'll do these weekly maybe? I think it would be good to discuss the episodes since a lot of instances players and coaches appear on set, giving nice bits of insight that's coming directly from them and not "Sources familiar with the Knicks' thinking". Here's the recap.
- The show opens with discussion of the recent article surrounding Carmelo Anthony and expectations of a trade. Via Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski (Courtesy of James Angelo)
Alan Hahn talks about how this isn't the spot where Knicks fans want to be. It's gotten to the point where it seems like we'll have to trade for Carmelo because he wants the money as well as out of Denver. He makes good points, nothing we haven't heard before. He goes into how other teams may have better young talent to offer the Nuggets but unless he's willing to go there he will not agree to a sign and trade. If they trade him without it being a sign and trade, wherever he lands may just have him as a one year rental while giving up their young talent at the same time.
The subject then moves to the hiring of Denver's new GM Masai Ujiri and his role in dictating what happens with Carmelo. This has got to be one of the toughest GM jobs at the moment, he has to come in, most likely trade Carmelo and still have a team that can contend in the Western Conference. Good luck Masai.
"Denver will be forced to trade Carmelo Anthony" - Alan Hahn
The first thing pointed out was Wilson's new and improved physique.
"I was out for so long all I could do was lift weights"
He said he works out early in the day with Landry Fields and Amare Stoudemire. It's good to hear that Amare is taking the young guys under his wing. Amare is one of those "First one in, last one out" type of guys and I'm glad Wilson and Landry are getting reps with him. He's then asked if he's been trying to improve his game any during the offseason.
"A little bit of everything, ball handling, shooting, a little bit of leadership, ya gotta be more vocal"
I am glad that Chandler is getting some time with the ball in his hands; best case scenario of course is that he bounces back from his surgery strong. I am more surprised to hear that he's working on becoming a vocal leader. He's our quiet but deadly ninja; to see him get more excited after he does something flashy would be great. The guy did not even get hype when he got the game saving block against Atlanta in MSG!
Hearing him say he wants to be a leader was such a shocker to me. I am getting the feeling that Amare might be rubbing off on him which is nowhere near a bad thing.
He's then asked how he reacts to the rumors of his name being brought up in nearly every trade scenario the Knicks are involved in.
I'm curious but I try to stay away from it and worry about the things I can control and not worry about the things that I can't so I just stay in the gym and work as hard as I can"
His thoughts on all the new acquisitions
"I think we a contender now, I think we in the position to make some noise"
He says he can play anywhere between the 2 to the 5 as he did last year. He just wants to be on the court contributing. This is one of the main reasons why I was against trading him for Rudy Fernandez. He has versatility that Rudy doesn't have.
Apparently he doesn't handle negative criticism or "haters" very well. He's shut down his twitter in the past because he couldn't use it for personal reasons and it became a pool of negativity. I don't blame him one bit, he just wants his privacy. Well he's back! All you twitter moles reading can go follow him now! Yay!
Near the end of the interview Hahn basically calls him a shy silent statue. He didn't use those exact words but he mentioned how nervous Chandler gets when tape recorders are brought out. He then shouts "You actually do have a personality", with great excitement as if he just found the cure for Aids. This leads to Chandler explaining how he and his friends exchange lol's and laughs through text messages. He says it's easier for him to express himself that way. I'm right there with ya buddy, text me!
- Amare sit down interview. Watch Video Here
Amare was asked what was he looking to achieve this year with the Knicks
"We gotta beat the teams we're supposed to beat. We gotta make sure we accomplish that and we're looking forward to making that playoff push. It's gonna be a great challenge for us but we all are here early working out in the month of august getting ready for an incredible season. "
Talks about being a star on the Knicks
"I think its everybody's dream to play for New York, play in Madison Square Garden and have a billboard in Times Square. I'm accomplishing my dream at the young age of 27"
He's then asked how he would bring mental toughness to the Knicks. He explains how he'll lead as an example and by doing so the players around would unlock their true potential. I think if anyone can bring the great basketball player out of someone it's Amare. He seems like he's a stand up guy and it's great to see him willing to help and actually taking this leadership role. He's embraced it and I can already see a tight knit unit coming together with this guy leading the way. I say there's no way Amare is not going to get the chemistry flowing with this team. No way in hell. We will gel and have that continuity everyone's been worrying about. I don't see any need to seriously worry, we'll be fine.
- Landry Fields appears on stage
Landry comes onto the set with what seems to be a super gelled fauxhawk of some sort that Andy Rautins helped him sculpture. They ask him about his recently signed contract with the Knicks and he says it was a dream come true being picked by the Knicks but who doesn't say that? He said he wasn't sure if he was going to get drafted and when he heard his name it was a shock. Could you imagine that feeling? Tons of names being called, you haven't been mentioned in any draft talks and all of sudden you hear your name. I could imagine how great that must have felt. He then mentions how a lot of Knicks fans haven't heard of him since he came from the Pac-10 and had this to say.
"Coming in with a chip on my shoulder lit a fire in me and im out to prove everybody wrong"
I think this confidence in him may have come from him spending time with Amare. Chandler said they get early workouts with each other and I think Amare might be inspiring these two. Seriously, read this quote, aren't you proud of our boy!?
He's then asked how he will deal with his role on the team. He knows he'll be very limited and getting minutes on the court is not going to be an easy task for him but he acknowledged this. He speaks about his first two years at Stanford and not having any significant role on the team until the change of head coach before the beginning of his junior year. He eased his way in with minutes during that year and broke out his senior year. He's willing to have the same patience here with the Knicks as he did in college with Stanford.
At the end of the interview he's asked what defines him.
" As a person passion, As a player passion. I got a lot of heart."
- Who's our 15th man?/ Establishing roles and rotations. Watch Video Here
Kelly Tripucka, Al Trautwig and Alan Hahn debate on the final open slot on the roster. Good points were made, getting a "Mascot" player that the crowd cheers for in the fourth quarter during a blowout (Pretty sure that would be Landry though) and Hahn made a good point that we should go after Patrick Ewing Jr. Question, Why not? Who else could we seriously be considering? Maurice Ager? Screw him, Patrick Ewing Jr. played well in the Summer League and I am all for bringing him on board.
Topic switches to roles and rotations as Hahn points out that D'Antoni has got to bring some wins this year. The two years of lollygagging are over and D'Antoni has got to prove his worth. According to Hahn, D'Antoni can't afford to have a bad start this season and he needs to give players certain roles. We need a solid rotation and not a mixed bag when we throw random players onto the court at once. We'll see what happens; the season can't come any sooner.
Watch Knicks Night Live Thursday at 8pm in MSG
The Knicks just announced the signing of Patrick Ewing Jr. There is your 15th Man.