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D'ANTONI PUTS TRUST IN NATE Mike D'Antoni said he believes Nate Robinson could still turn into an All-Star and a winning player - not just a freakishly athletic sixth-man stat machine with oncourt behavior issues.

There is the good Nate and the bad Nate.

"That's why he's on a one-year contract," the Knicks coach said. "That's why we won 32 games. As soon as we get it, as soon as he gets it, we'll get in the playoffs."

Robinson has looked superior during training camp. The Knicks , who play in Boston tomorrow, would own the league's least-talented NBA roster had he not re-signed days before camp. If another team had signed Robinson to an offer sheet for multiple years, he would be an ex- Knick . The Knicks weren't matching.

"He was in a situation where we wanted to keep maximum flexibility for next year, and a long-term contract would've messed up the flexibility," D'Antoni said. "We won 32, but that doesn't change how good he can be. He can be terrific."

The bad Nate antagonizes referees, opponents, even rankles teammates with his overexuberance. Over the summer he was arrested for driving with a suspended license and, worse, tweeted during it. Yesterday, he was first off the practice floor, then declined an interview request.

"Technicals, grabbing people, he's going to do a better job of keeping his mind right and focused on the game," D'Antoni said. "The guy should average a lot of points. He doesn't need to stop himself. He knows that. If he concentrates, keeps his mind on the game, his numbers should go way up and make us a winner."


Knicks cut four players, including ex-Lakers' sharpshooter Sun Yue and ex-Celtic PG Gabe Pruitt. Warren Carter and Ron Howard also were waived.

The Knicks are down to 16 - including Cuttino Mobley's pact - and need one more cut. It's between Joe Crawford and Marcus Landry.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 9, 2009


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