When the Knicks executives, Steve Mills and Scott Perry, gave their state of the team introductions Thursday and it was David Fizdale’s turn, the new Knicks coach opted for a simpler message. “Let’s go,” he shouted before adding as the laughter died down, “We talked enough this summer, it’s time to get training camp going. Our guys are excited. I know our staff is bouncing off the walls right now ready to get after it. I’m ready to go. I’m really excited about this. Just because what these guys just said. We had a heck of a summer. Just the commitment of our guys in getting in the gym and putting in the sweat equity. And now we’re ready to go.”
There is evidence some are buying hard into the Knicks’ patient rebuilding plan, despite five straight seasons of missing the playoffs. According to a Garden official, the season-ticket renewal rate hit 95 percent with training camp set to get underway Monday. That’s up from an 89 percent renewal rate last season and one of the Knicks’ highest renewal rates in years. It’s a stunner, considering their star player, Kristaps Porzingis, has no timetable for his return and the Knicks are expected to land in the lottery again.
Irving said he’s aware that he’s been linked to Jimmy Butler in persistent free-agent rumors regarding a mutual desire to play together in New York, but he said he’s had no such discussions with Butler. In fact, he said, the last time he talked to Butler at length was when they were both playing with USA Basketball, and the two engaged in a spitballing session along with Durant and Cousins about what the future held for each of them. “And that,” Irving laughed, “was in 2016.”
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“I’m pretty excited,” Knox said at an event for Subway in Manhattan on Thursday.” We worked out lot these last six or seven weeks. We had our conditioning test [Wednesday] so guys are going home right now before training camp. So we’ll take some time off, get ready for training camp. But had a great summer, looking forward to training camp, getting all the guys together in the gym, learn from Fizdale and get ready for the season.”