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CAMP FEEL GOODSARATOGA SPRINGS - When Knicks training camp opened one year ago at Skidmore College, Danilo Gallinari never stepped foot on the court and center Eddy Curry never stepped foot in the gym.

One year ago, Curry landed in a hospital with a bacterial infection while Gallinari spent the week on the sidelines doing core exercises for his injured back.

Things didn't get better for either, and they combined to play 31 games. Curry, battling weight and knee issues, played three games, 12 minutes. Gallinari, the 6-foot-11 Italian Stallion, wrecked by a bulging disc, managed 28 games as a rookie before shutting it down in mid-March to undergo back surgery.

With their first practice scheduled today, Gallinari is pain free, with coach Mike D'Antoni raving, "He's the best shooter I've ever seen."

Curry has lost 40 pounds - to 317 - and claims to be ready to roll despite a hamstring strain last week.

In Donnie Walsh's fantasy world, Gallinari and Curry will make up two-fifths of the starting lineup and lead the Knicks to the playoffs. Their resurgence is the only way the Knicks reach respectability entering 2010's free-agent frenzy.

"Last year's camp was a nightmare for me," Curry said at yesterday's media day. "I spent the whole week in the hospital, and the whole season was a wash. I'm looking forward to getting started. I can't even believe the day is here."

Curry hasn't come close to regaining the form of 2006-07 when he became the focal point of Isiah Thomas' offense. Already the red flags are waving as Curry tweaked his hamstring and calf, forcing him to miss the last five days of pre-camp scrimmages.

But he says it's different this time after a summer of "soul-searching" and his ballyhooed weight-loss program.

"With everything going on, I had to figure what was important to me," Curry said. "Everything was coming at so many different angles. I focused, buckled down and handled my problems one thing at a time."

Aside from his knees, Curry dealt with a sexual-harassment lawsuit from a limo driver and the shooting death of a girlfriend and their infant daughter.

Now it's just Basketball. "I definitely have to get myself in NBA shape," Curry said. "Yeah, I lost the weight. It's a lot more to do. It's going to take time. But not having the stress on my knees, my body feels good to play that way."

D'Antoni never has shown respect for Curry, even cracking the other day the center lost the weight of "two Backstreet Boys."

D'Antoni's disses have led to assertions the Knicks are trying to get Curry to a level where his long-term contract can be traded.

"If that's their goal, to showcase me, to make my contract more attractive, so be it," Curry said. "You know it's there. I hope they do get LeBron [James]. And I hope I'm there when he comes."

Gallinari has a lot better chance of fulfilling expectations. He says he has no pain in his back whatsoever.

"It's great - one year ago, feeling a lot of pain," Gallinari said. "Now I can start training camp feeling good."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 30, 2009


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