Knicks "pre-training camp" starts next week.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Amare Stoudemire #1 , and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks talk during their pre season game against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The wonderful Jared Zwerling spoke to the wonderful Steve Novak yesterday and learned quite a bit about Steve and the Knicks' offseason preparations. First, I recommend you check out Zwerling's one-on-one with Novak, in which our friend Steve mentions that he's been working throughout the summer with some other Marquette bros (Meanface, for one) and reiterates his goal of adding some new looks and moves to his arc-oriented game (just look at it!). It's a great interview, and I think you'll enjoy it. If you can't read or have dried marmalade in your eyes, don't be shy. I'll read it aloud for you.

Perhaps the best and most interesting thing Zwerling learned from Novak (and thanks to ny knickerbocker for posting this overnight) is that the Knicks will assemble in Greenburgh weeks before training camp is scheduled to start. At Mike Woodson's behest, and with the input of Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks have arranged to congregate at the training facility on the 10th, then put in work there right through media day and the beginning of real training camp.

Now, those of us who didn't get neuralyzed after the lockout (to those of you saying "what lockout?", nothing. No lockout. Don't worry about it.) remember Amar'e Stoudemire trying and failing to organize something like this well before last year's abbreviated training camp. You might be skeptical about the notion of all the Knicks showing up to train weeks before they're contractually obligated to do so. And indeed, I'd be surprised if everybody reports on Monday. New guys could still be negotiating their moves to the New York area (Pablo Prigioni, for instance, has to come all the way from Spain and owns some kids and cars and stuff), and might not be able to just drop everything to spend all day rebounding for Melo and getting tummy-slapped by Tyson.

But yeah, the big difference between this plan and last year's failed one is that there aren't those miserable lockout (nothing, nevermind) rules in place to prevent the players from contacting their coaches and trainers and using the Greenburgh facility. No more shoddily organized meetings in Florida, no more visits to Dr. Merriweather Goldstein. Even if there isn't perfect attendance, I think it's lovely that some Knicks are taking the initiative to congregate before camp starts, and I hope we get some reports of the goings on.

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