Some notes from yesterday’s Knicks Media Day:
* Steve Mills, when asked why did the Knicks feel the need to make a change considering that they had improved so well under Glen Grunwald, said something to the effect that Dolan wanted the team to be more analytical with how they ran the team. To me this line sounded as if Dolan wanted to go all Hollinger/Berri, but he didn’t expand on it in that direction, so it’s unclear. Mills also said that he was going to look at the entire staff and see where each person fit. That he didn’t talk much to either Carmelo Anthony or Allan Houston at this time. Grunwald would stay on as an adviser. No one else would answer questions on the Grunwald/Mills swap, everyone pretty much saying it was above their paygrade.
* Woodson spoke positively of Bargnani, calling a “nightmare for 4s and 5s (to guard).” He brushed off questions about Bargnani’s defense saying that Andrea “would be just fine once he learns the rotations.” [Robert pointed out to me that it therefore must be the case that no other coach bothered to reveal their defensive rotations to Bargnani in the past.] He said the team’s short term goal was to defend their division title and secure one of the top 4 seeds in the playoffs. He mentioned that D’Antoni was instrumental in bringing him to New York as a defensive coach – which I thought was odd in two senses. The first that D’Antoni was the one to bring him in, the second is that he admitted that he was the defensive coach something that was tiptoed around when he first arrived.
* J.R. Smith regretted hurting his teammates the most with his suspension. When asked about Woodson, he exclaimed that “Woodson was by far the best coach I’ve ever had.”
* Carmelo Anthony spoke both about how during the offseason he worked on some new things in his game and that he wasn’t going to change much as a pro at this stage of his career. No one pointed out that these two things were at odds with each other. When he was told he could leave, Melo gave a genuine smile and said to the press “It’s good to see you guys back, it’s been a long off season.” The press laughed but it was a real moment.
* Ron Artest came out with a video team and started interviewing the press. Ron Artest will play by his own rules. Always.
* During his interview Amar’e Stoudemire went from extremely cheerful to slightly melancholy. He mentioned “his potential” and the press saw blood in the water and circled like sharks. At the end he answered one of the questions with a reference to god, and seemed as if he couldn’t get off the stage fast enough.
* Shumpert sounded determined talking about his defense. Saying something to the effect of his desire to score is so high that he wants to always take the ball away from the opponent so he could score. It was like a lion describing why he chases zebras.
* Kenyon Martin said the strongest thing an athlete can do in any sport is to prevent the other team from scoring. And he kinda said that with an in-your-face attitude. I am now officially scared of Kenyon Martin, and want him on my team at the same time. Make that at all times.