HoopsHype Bill Walker rumors
The only fall-out from the scrimmage skirmish after Thursday's practice here apparently was that Bill Walker was annoyed it was reported in the Post and here in the Fix. On his Twitter account, Walker said: "Why do reporters try to make a situation out of nothing? Then wonder why players don't want to talk to them!!! It's a dirty game" Newsday
One player told me that Walker and Shawne Williams, who went at Walker for a hard foul, are actually very close. "Those guys are friends," the player said. "It was like two brothers fighting, you know how it is when you fight with your brother." I get that, just like I acknowledge (from the experience of eight-plus years as a very mediocre player at the high school and college levels) that scuffles happen all the time on a basketball court. I actually felt like it was a good sign to see such high levels of intensity around this team and, thus, thought even if it was a small matter, it worthwhile to report. Competition keeps everyone sharp. You need guys deep in the rotation pushing the guys ahead of them and vice versa. Newsday
Toughness has not been a Knicks trait in years. Yesterday, the Knicks, after breaking their six-game losing streak in Sacramento, were feeling feisty at practice as a skirmish broke out between Bill Walker and Shawne Williams. Williams was driving to the basket when Walker took him down hard. Williams, who has yet to play this season after making the team as 15th man, shot up from the floor and lunged at Walker, shouting at him about the dirty play. Teammates separated the two players, but Williams kept carrying on, trying to break free to get at Walker. Even Eddy Curry had to restrain the ranting Williams. New York Post
It was a bizarre scene the way Williams carried on. Williams, the former Pacers first-round bust who beat out Patrick Ewing Jr. for the final roster spot and has marijuana arrests on his resume, appears itching to play. With the Knicks shooting poorly from 3-point range (32.5 percent), the coaching staff believes Williams may be their most proficient deep shooter in practice. (Sorry, Danilo Gallinari.) Walker stands in Williams' way. Walker has been a reserve, but coach Mike D'Antoni has dabbled with yanking him from the rotation. If the Knicks falter from the 3-point stripe, Williams could get his chance. The coaches seemed unfazed by the near fisticuffs. New York Post
As for the aforementioned Knicks, D’Antoni said Walker is down to 227 pounds from the 254 he was when he came to the Knicks from Boston. “He’s back to his athletic form where he was dominating all the [pre-college] camps,” MD’A said. He also described Curry’s weight as “good” and said the big man should be cleared to get back on the floor next week. Bergen Record
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