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October 8, 2014 Updates

Even with Carmelo Anthony’s new $124 million contract, Stoudemire remains the Knicks’ highest-paid player this season at $23.4 million. The Knicks are counting on his and Andrea Bargnani’s expiring deals for increased salary-cap space next summer, but Stoudemire added Tuesday that he expects to play beyond this contract. “For sure, this is definitely not the last year for myself. I feel like the work I put in this offseason and the way I feel now is great motivation for me to continue to play,” Stoudemire said. "I want to be healthy regardless. Whether it is my last year or not, my children (are) excited to watch me play, my family still loves watching basketball and seeing me out there, so I do it for them. I continue to work hard to try to improve every single season. I battled through injuries, I persevered, stayed strong and stayed positive to be successful. With all the hard work, I am sure it will pay off this season." New York Daily News

First-year coach Derek Fisher and the Knicks’ medical staff have periodically backed off on the 13-year veteran through the first week of training camp last week in West Point and now back in Westchester, with the goal of having Stoudemire available for more than the 65 games he appeared in last season. “I feel great. My body feels great. I worked extremely hard this offseason to be in top shape and be there full-time. But my body feels great. I feel confident. Hopefully it pans out well,” Stoudemire said. “It has been a long time since I have been this excited to start the year off. It is a great system, we have a great coaching staff, we have been very enthused in practice, guys are motivated, determined, so we feel great about the season.” New York Daily News

The Westchester Knicks, the official NBA Development League affiliate of the New York Knickerbockers, have named Kevin Whitted as the team’s first head coach in franchise history. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Westchester Knicks will tip off their inaugural season this November and play all home games at the historic Westchester County Center in White Plains. “Kevin has a proven track record of developing players and is committed to the processes and development of this team,” said Westchester Knicks general manager Allan Houston. “Our relationship goes back to when we both attended the University of Tennessee. I’m confident in his ability to lead and provide an environment for players to grow on and off the court. This is an exciting time for this organization and community.” NBA.com

According to a source, Jackson decided to keep the front office intact for at least this season. For the last two days at practice in Tarrytown, the sidelines were packed with Jackson’s entire new-old staff, which essentially is former general manager Glen Grunwald’s staff — save for general manager Steve Mills. New York Post

In addition to agreeing last March to keep Mills as his right-hand man — upon owner James Dolan’ s recommendation — Jackson retained veteran executive John Gabriel, promoted from director of pro scouting to director of basketball operations, and gave him more influence. Player personnel director Mark Warkentien, meanwhile, lost some power. He interviewed in Memphis for a front-office position that ultimately went to former Nets president Ed Stefanski. New York Post

Stoudemire finished strong, scoring in double figures in 20 of his last 21 games and averaging 16 points during that span. He played in a total of 65 games and averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. It was the most he has played in a season since logging 78 games in his first season with the Knicks in 2010-’11. “Obviously to reach back to my dominant self, I feel like I’m there now,” Stoudemire said. “I feel like my body is feeling so much stronger [than last year at this time] so I feel dominant.” ESPN.com

It's not a marquee name, but Kevin Whitted keeps impressive company. According to league sources, the Westchester Knicks are expected on Wednesday to announce the former University of Tennessee standout has been hired to coach the NBA Development League franchise during its debut season. Whitted played in college alongside former Knicks All-Star Allan Houston, who is the team's general manager. He is the all-time leading scorer at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, and his commemorative jersey hangs in the gym there alongside that of Michael Jordan. Journal News

Though Knicks president Phil Jackson took a hatchet to last season’s roster and coaching staff, the Zen Master went status quo with the basketball operations department. Jackson added former Bulls scout Clarence Gaines as a key advisor, but made no important firings or other additions. According to a source, Jackson decided to keep the front office intact for at least this season. New York Post

October 7, 2014 Updates

Anthony left some dollars on the table — and structured his deal to facilitate additional cap space in 2015. The seven-time All-Star claimed he was “happy to do it when the option came on the table,” and stressed he didn’t consider taking a shorter deal from the Knicks. “I never thought about it. I never thought about a two-year deal. I didn’t want to have to go back and do what I did this summer, not at all,” said Anthony, who also considered offers from the Bulls, Lakers and Rockets this summer. “There was stuff on the table. There wasn’t a two-year deal discussed. But I’m good, man. Five years, man. I don’t even want to speak on no two-year deal. “I don’t even know why I”m sitting here and we’re talking about a two-year deal. I signed my deal, I’m good, the organization is good. We moved forward and everybody is in a good place. So I don’t think there’s even no need to discuss it.” New York Daily News

Shumpert, who didn’t scrimmage or have any contact during Monday’s practice at their Greenburgh campus, believes he will play. Shumpert has been sitting out some practices, including those at West Point. But the Knicks coaching staff is worried Shumpert’s hamstring issue could linger. Fisher also said guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is battling hip inflammation. Hardaway Jr., Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire, resting his knees, barely participated in Monday’s practices. “I was telling Shump earlier, for eight months we have to be at our absolute best,’’ Fisher said. “It’s a long season. We can’t rush trying to be so excited for the start of the season.’’ New York Post

Shumpert, in the final year of his rookie contract, is aiming to play in the preseason opener. The Knicks will also face the Celtics Saturday at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. “I believe I‘m playing,’’ Shumpert said. “I would hope so. I don’t want to sit out all these practices and not play. That’s why I’m sitting everything out so I can get some game action.” New York Post

October 6, 2014 Updates

Ohm Youngmisuk: Carmelo congratulates Adam Silver on new TV deal. Says he never thought about re-signing to a 2-year deal with potential new TV deal Twitter @NotoriousOHM

Enter Spike Lee, the filmmaker and unabashed Knicks fan, who is making an hour-long film in an effort to demystify Jackson’s offensive system. He is calling it “What Is the Triangle Offense: A Spike Lee Orange and Blue Skies Joint.” It is set to air Oct. 24 on MSG. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” Lee said. “This is trying to explain to the average fan the triangle system. It’s sort of like the mysterious mythology and Zen that Phil Jackson has used to win six times in Chicago and five times in L.A.” Wall Street Journal


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


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