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News » New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-22

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-22

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-11-22Donnie Walsh was looking for answers to help his listing team, that got off to a franchise-worst 1-9 start. But when The Answer was there for him, Walsh declined.

After a few days of deliberation -- and great speculation in the media -- the Knicks decided not to sign Allen Iverson, who on Thursday became a free agent after he was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies. Walsh, who was initially not in favor of the idea, took time to consider it after coach Mike D'Antoni, desperate for a talent upgrade, endorsed the idea.

While it is believed the main reason why the Knicks decided against going forward with Iverson (who, according to reports, was all for coming to New York) had more to do with his penchant for controversy and being outspoken against his coaches (see: Philadelphia, Detroit and Memphis), Walsh said it was more about the direction the Knicks were in.

"It has nothing to with Allen Iverson," the team president said. "It's just the stage our team is in right now and what we've been trying to do since we got here with building a team for the future."

Iverson likely would have only cost the Knicks a $1.4 million veteran's minimum contract, which could be easily waived if things didn't work out. But after years of unwanted off-the-court controversy, mainly involving Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury, the franchise didn't want to invite the potential for any more embarrassments.

To commit to Iverson would also mean giving him the starting role he wants and a heavy workload of minutes, which would likely mean cutting into the time for young players, such as rookie guard Toney Douglas. Though the Knicks clearly aren't making a total commitment to their young players just yet -- the rotation is still quite focused on veterans -- they weren't ready to hand the offense over to Iverson for the rest of the season just to pacify a frustrated fan base. Especially not if he, at 34 years old, wouldn't be nearly enough to make them a playoff contender.

But Walsh is still looking to do something, and while he called some confidants around the league for their input on Iverson, Walsh also asked about other options that might be out there for the Knicks. One the team has kept a close eye on involves another diva-esque star, Tracy McGrady, who is in the final year of his contract and is attempting to come back from microfracture surgery. He is also at odds with his current team, the Houston Rockets.

Aside from seeking help elsewhere, the Knicks might have found some from inside, with the return of center Eddy Curry. Though it will take some time for Curry, who played in only three games last season and lost over 50 pounds since then as he attempts a career renaissance, he does have the ability to be a go-to scorer. His post presence commands double-teams, which will open up the perimeter for the Knicks' shooters, such as Danilo Gallinari. D'Antoni even admitted he needs to change his style to better fit this collection of expiring contracts -- er, players -- and Coach Seven Seconds or Less says he will conform the system to be more of a half-court set with a focus on defense. And no, that isn't a typo.

KNICKS 98, NETS 91: Al Harrington drilled a 3-pointer with 1:01 left in the game to give the Knicks a seven-point lead and provide the final dagger, keeping the Nets (0-13) winless and giving the Knicks (3-9) consecutive victories for the first time this season. The Knicks led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but the Nets, behind 24 points from Chris Douglas-Roberts, rallied to turn it into a battle to the final minute. Harrington and Danilo Gallinari each had 17 points, as six Knicks scored in double figures.

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Added: November 22, 2009


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