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Knicks Work Out First Four (Nets Tag Along)

From, the Knicks and Nets worked out four incoming rookies today in Greenburgh, NJ: Vanderbilt's Derrick Byars, Villanova's Curtis Sumpter, DePaul's Sammy Mejia, and Syracuse's Demetris Nichols.

There's not much to garner from that article about how they performed (workouts only say so much), but it's interesting to hear what guys had to say. A rundown:


"Isiah told me before the workout, "I hope you're in shape'-- which I was, of course," related Nichols. "And `just do what you do best.'" That would be that smoothie of a stroke, of course. "That's what got me this far," said the soft-spoken forward. "I worked hard at this. And it's all paying off."


"It made me feel real good when Isiah commented that I was in great shape. It WAS a tough road for me, no doubt. I am in hundred per cent good health once again, grateful to get the chance to be out there competing and be able to prove it. I don't have to be a NBA starter. I can be a role player, fill any role a coach want me to. I am very coach-able -- and, most important, I am a winner."


"So I'm out there to prove to evaluators I'm quicker than what people give me credit for," added Byars. "I can shoot better than people think. I get underestimated in a lot of ways. Whatever ball club picks me is going to have a quality player. I'm unselfish, I have a knack for finding the open guy. I bring so many different things to the table, including some real hard-nosed defense."


"Isiah told me today after our workout, how much he enjoyed watching me play in college," said Mejia. "That meant a lot to me, to hear that from him. I try to play like Boris Diaw. Four different positions. Do a little bit of everything."

Maybe it's just me, but something about what Byars had to say set him apart from the rest. He was the only one who didn't mention Isiah at all. Not sure if that's significant. Workouts continue tomorrow across the river in East Rutherford.

EDIT: The number of sports cliches in those above quotations is astounding. I wish we got to these guys before they got packaged and labeled for the draft.