The movement toward a fully functional (and fully dysfunctional) NBA is happening, albeit more gradually than we might have expected. Yesterday, the Knicks were allowed to contact agents to express interest in their clients (interest that can't be consummated for another week, mind you). Today, the word is that the Knicks have opened the doors to their practice facility in Greenburgh, which is pleasant news. That's a gradual process too, as players can come in as they please, but cannot be told when to come in, nor what to do while there. From Alan Hahn:
Knicks players will be allowed back at MSG Training Center Thursday morning to use the facilities to work out and prepare for training camp, which remains on schedule to open next Friday.
With the lockout still technically in effect, the coaching staff is not permitted to have contact with the players. The workouts are voluntary, so the teams can not organize times or arrange for players to attend.
It's free swim, y'all. The players can do sweet dives (basketball equivalent = dunks), play sharks and minnows (pick-up), and fill hollow pool noodles with water and spray them at each other (not sure what the basketball equivalent is. I guess just peeing on each other?) all they want! Until the whistles are blown for instructional swim next week, there are NO RULES!
For the time being, there might not be too many Knicks in attendance. Hahn notes that Carmelo Anthony is in the area and might like to stop by, but Amar'e Stoudemire is still training in Florida, Iman Shumpert appears to be at home in Chicago, Chauncey Billups is probably still out west, and the Andy Rautins/Landry Fields duo is training in California. Oh, and Shelden Williams, a UFA, is hanging/working out in Russia, where his wife, Candace Parker, is currently playing. (<3 u, Twitter.)
As far as Knicks in the area go, wasn't Toney Douglas working out at Brewster High School? Perhaps he'd be willing to keep Melo company. And no matter where Anthony Carter is, (or whether, as a free agent, he's actually allowed to use the facilities) I'm sure he'll be by. Sources close to Carter say he left a bunch of grapes and half a can of Mello Yello (which he expects to "still have bubbles") on one of the practice courts in April and would like to retrieve them.
So, all told, the Knicks are in the midst of that awkward, restricted pre-free agency period, and now an awkward, restricted pre-training camp period as well. We inch closer and closer to real basketball each day!