Knicks Media Day Quotebook
Are you looking forward to the season?
by Matt Lawyue / @mlawyue
I won’t lie, media day is a round robin of monotony. You hear the same people ask the same questions, while the players surely want to jam recorders in their ear to silence the repetitive noise. But you know what, it comes with the territory. Players have to sit there and take the brunt of the most silly, obvious questions over and over again, while journalists do their part and ask the most silly, obvious questions over and over again.
In SLAM’s case, I was at Knicks Media Day in Tarrytown, NY, a lazy town about 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, just to see what I could find. And what I found were some interesting responses to the monotony. In case you were wondering, the monotony contains any variations of:
Are you looking forward to the season? What are your expectations? What does coach expect from you? How do you think you’ll fit in? What about your teammates? Are you ready? What are your goals? What are you going to eat for dinner? I’m joking on that last one.
The italicized questions are the abbreviated reporter’s questions, while I posted some of my own as well. I tried to hit up the fresh faces in camp, which was basically everyone because of the gutted roster, and left the more common guys, like Amar’e and Gallinari, for the beat writers to tackle.
What he can contribute to this team.
“I have a lot of God-given ability that I think that I can bring to the team, as far as my athleticism and things like that. And I work my ass off. I love the game of basketball and I want to be good. And I feel if I have the opportunity and I’m in the right situation that I can be a great player in this league one day.”
Worst part of training camp?
“Worst part of training camp? [Pauses] There is no worst part of training camp. I mean, (I) play basketball for a living. I’m very blessed.”
What’s it like playing for Mike D’Antoni?
“I haven’t played for him yet, but uh…”
When’s the first time he’s seen Eddy Curry this offseason?
“Today. I think he’s working out. Tomorrow we got training camp, I’m pretty sure he know that he gotta be in shape and stuff. He’ll be ready by tomorrow…”
Dealing with the herd of New York media.
“I don’t even read papers, to tell you the truth. I don’t do that. I just go out there and play my game and do what Toney Douglas do. [Laughs] For real. God gave me a gift to play basketball, make a living out of it. I love it. I love the game.”
I asked about his brother, Harry Douglas, who plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
“He’s doin’ good. They 1-1. They play New Orleans on Sunday. So, I’ll be watching that game.”
What do you think the difference between Chris Duhon last year and you this year will be in Mike D’Antoni’s system?
“Hey man, I’m not gonna say there’s no difference between anything man. I’m just gonna come in and play my game. Chris Duhon is Chris Duhon. Raymond Felton is Raymond Felton. So, I’m not gonna say nothing. Chris Duhon is a good friend of mine, so I’m not gonna say anything bad about him.”
When asked if the negative vibes the past years will get to him.
“Let me tell you this. I’m going to spin your question into a positive. I’m gonna change everybody’s perception of negativeness. A new word. Negativeness. I’m gonna change people’s perception of that around here. I’m not gonna let that affect me. I’m gonna affect other people.”
Like Oprah man.
“Maybe I should have my own TV show.”
I asked the rookie center his thoughts on playing for Russia against Team USA during the World Championships.
“It was good game. For me it’s first experience against all American team, NBA style. For me it was a really good experience. We lost by 10, but we fight until the end. American team will be test to you, you know like, new guy.”
Asked his thoughts on the upcoming season.
“You know, I think we still underrated, even though we got Amar’e and those guys. I think the Playoffs is definitely in our future. Just to be excited for the season, I think everybody will come out hungry.”
“Man, the jerseys are great man. They lighter, you know, they dry faster. They’re a little bit stylish too, you know. It looks a little bit better than last year’s.”
Patrick Ewing Jr:
Basically, playing for the team his father helped transform into a beloved NY sports team.
“It will be just like going on the court with any other uniform, I guess. I’m kind of used to it now. You know, I was here two years ago and I think I got all my jitters out in that game against Boston in the Garden. I think I’m ready for it now, it’s the second time around. I’m not nervous like I was before, so I’m ready. We’re definitely capable of making the Playoffs this year and I think we can make a run. Just having a lot of the old guys around now a days, just gives them the feel. You know, you have [Charles] Oak talking about it, [Anthony] Mase will talk about it. I was young. I remember it, but I can’t tell it like they can tell it.”
His thoughts on the season.
“Offensively, we’re gonna be tops. I’m gonna tell you that right now. We got great offensive guys. I think we’re ranked top eight in the East, but we lookin’ to accomplish even more, so we have to make sure we stay focused.”
Roger Mason Jr:
I asked him what his tattoos meant.
“It means ‘Eternal Love.’ (On his left arm) It’s from my father who passed away when I was 11. And there’s also a cross in here. And the same thing with this one. (On his right arm) It’s Psalms 46. It’s a prayer we said to my dad before he passed away.”