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March 1, 2015 Updates

Knicks president Phil Jackson continued to scout top college prospects in person on Saturday. He was shown by television cameras in the stands at the Kentucky-Arkansas game. The Knicks are on pace to get a high pick in June’s NBA draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected as a top pick. Many draft experts put fellow Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein in the same echelon. Jackson likely had his eyes on those two. Earlier this week, the Knicks president attended Ohio State’s game against Nebraska and he commented on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The NBA will likely fine Jackson for his comments. According to a source, several teams complained about the comment. It is against league rules for personnel to comment on players who haven’t declared for the NBA draft. ... The Knicks beat the Raptors on Saturday to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Hardaway Jr. led the team with 22 points. ESPN.com

Jeff Van Gundy was an assistant under Pat Riley, and he said he never will forget that day in Charleston when the unproven Mason and the established Xavier McDaniel got into a fight that didn't end quickly. "It started with a block-out drill, and five minutes later, Xavier McDaniel and Anthony were going around the gym throwing haymakers at each other," Van Gundy said by phone. "I think it set the tone for just how hard we were going to play that season. He came in to compete and he backed down from no one." Newsday

"I think anybody who coached Anthony will always remember him for his intensity, passion, toughness and a really long work ethic," Van Gundy said. "He didn't take days off practice. He played every night. He was really a great, great story of perseverance that turned into success I don't think anybody imagined when he came to training camp for the first time with the Knicks." Newsday

But after a series of injuries over the past few seasons have robbed him of a good chunk of the breathtaking athleticism and power that made him one of the most fearsome offensive forces in the league, Stoudemire said he has no regrets about how his tenure in New York turned out. “No, I don’t, actually,” Stoudemire said before the Nets’ 104-94 win over the Mavericks. “I can’t control how my body reacts to certain things. But, other than that, I have no regrets.” New York Post

On Saturday, before a game against the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks held a moment of silence to celebrate the life of former NBA forward — and former Knick — Anthony Mason. Earlier in the day, the Knicks confirmed that Mason had died at the age of 48. The moment of silence was one of many gestures from the sports world that honored the memory of Mason. For The Win

“We were a hard-nosed, no-nonsense team,” guard Derek Harper said. “Our toughness came through guys like Mase. He was the mainstay of what we were, the epitome of hard work. No one ever protected teammates like Oak and Mase. “He didn’t have my route to the pros,” Harper added. “He took the hard road, went to a small college [Tennessee State]. He beat the odds. And to be from New York and find success in New York as a Knickerbocker, that is a hard thing to do. But Mase had that toughness. This is just a sad day.” New York Post

He deserved such veneration on the court, although Mase shouldn’t be mythologized too much. Mason was no great hero, even with his up-from-nowhere, New York back story. He warred with the refs, got into trouble with the police, and he was accused in 1998 of statutory rape — a charge that was downgraded to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. New York Daily News

Mason could be as surly to the press as he was to opponents, and that was just fine as long as he channeled his persecution complex into his defense. He did that, almost always. He gave and took the hardest fouls off the bench, then complained about not getting enough of the ball or the minutes. There was nothing phony about Mason. He was a born intimidator, a hard man. New York Daily News

The players mostly are forgotten now, but in the summer of 1991, the Knicks brought a group of hopefuls to the Catskills to play against an equally non-descript team of Philadelphia 76ers wannabes. One guy stood out: this hulking 6-foot-7 bruiser, Anthony Mason, who tossed the Sixers around like rag dolls. “Mase was tough. He didn’t give up anything. He wanted to play. Even then, players weren’t nearly as tough as he was,” said Paul Silas, a three-time champ as a player who was a Knicks assistant and later Mason’s head coach in Charlotte. New York Post

Mason did it his way. He frequently sent ballboys or locker-room attendants for a couple pregame hot dogs, a habit which didn’t endear him to Knicks nutritionists. One game, the ballboy was intercepted. The hot dogs were removed from the buns and replaced with bananas. Mason was not amused. But his anger would fade far quicker than the bruises he inflicted on opponents. And he wasn’t just a brute. Silas turned him into a point forward in Charlotte, a far more demanding role, and Mason handled it perfectly. New York Post

Mason played five seasons with the New York Knicks. Clippers coach Doc Rivers was Mason’s teammate for two-plus of those seasons. “The passing of Anthony Mason is so sad,” Rivers said in a statement. “He was a true warrior and a great teammate. He embodied what it meant to be a Knick. I loved him and my prayers go out to his family.” Los Angeles Daily News

On Saturday afternoon, Beastie Boys member Ad-Rock tweeted about Mason’s death: “MASE!!! You are for surely missed. RIP.” Mason was not the only Knick of the Pat Riley era to inspire the Beasties’ rhymes. “Get It Together” contains the line “I got heart like John Starks,” while “Flute Loop” references the team’s 1993 Atlantic Division title with the somewhat hard-to-decipher lyric: “Lead my team to 60 wins like my man Pat Ewing.” New York Daily News

February 28, 2015 Updates

Iman Shumpert: Man does this news have me salty right now. Prayers up! Due to the trade I never got to see my dog for the last time. We were suppose to meet up and chat as we always do. Mase always made sure I was straight with my mental playing in this league. Not only did we lose a Knick great but we lost a great man and a great friend. Thank you for all you taught me Mase and for always keeping it Instagram

No one ever played harder at the Garden, not even Oakley. Really, he is an essential, indelible part of the memories his Knicks teams made for us, whether they played a style that sometimes seemed more fit for a game in an alley behind a saloon. “He was a nasty character on the court who was capable of being an extraordinary gentleman away from it,” Dave Checketts said on Saturday morning. “We would make school visits or even hospital visits, and you’d look over, and Mase would always find the kid in the corner. I always believed it was because he had grown up being that kid himself.” New York Daily News

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN KNICKS HISTORY

Carmelo Anthony already ahead of Phil Jackson, but still far away from the all-time New York greats.

   

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