Tim Hardaway Jr. throws out first pitch at Mets Game

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The throw was probably a little too high and outside for Terry Collins’ tastes, but as Tim Hardaway Jr. put it on Instagram, “Thank the Lord I didn’t pull a @50cent.”

The Knicks’ guard threw out the first pitch at the Mets game Monday and spoke to youngsters from New York City’s YMCA as part of the Citi Kids Program. Take a look below to see his baseball skills.

Oh Yeah…1970: The Knicks make NY title-town

SNY’s new show, Oh Yeah…, looks back to when the Jets, Mets and Knicks all won championships in a 15-month span between 1969 and 1970 after the Knicks’ NBA title victory in May 1970.

Oh Yeah… takes viewers on a trip down memory lane by re-visiting the most entertaining, offbeat, and perhaps forgotten local sports topics over the past 40 years with each episode devoted to a specific year. New episodes air Sundays at 10 pm on SNY.

Toure’ Murry drawing interest from Heat

Sam Spiegelman

The Heat, Jazz and Clippers have all showed an interest in signing free-agent guard Toure’ Murry, ESPN New York reported.

The Murry news comes on the heels that the Knicks came to terms with No. 34 overall pick Cleanthony Early, who like Murry also played his college hoops at Wichita State.

Murry averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 assists in 7.3 minutes per game last season for New York, and is worthy of getting re-signed. If not, he will certainly find himself on an NBA roster elsewhere.


Knicks sign Cleanthony Early

The Knicks have signed draft pick Cleanthony Early to a contract, the team announced.

Early, 6-8, 219-pounds, was selected by New York in second round (34th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft following his senior season at Wichita State University.

The Bronx, NY-native led the Shockers to an undefeated regular season (34-0), with averages of 16.4 points on 48.6-percent shooting and 5.9 rebounds. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds, over 27.9 minutes, in four games for New York’s entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League at Las Vegas, NV.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

One could consider it a relief for the Knicks to have finally signed Early, but perhaps such a union was never truly in doubt.

Early stands to make an impact for a Knicks team that will looking to cement its new identity by utilizing the triangle offense this coming season.

The young gun proved to be a high-octane energy guy during NBA Summer League, hustling his way towards loose balls, rebounds, and serving as a decent defender as well. He’ll fit in just fine as a complementary player who does all of the little things.

Early’s signing, as positive as it may be, presents an interesting “dilemma” for the Knicks. The addition of the Witchita State product fills up the roster once again, meaning Phil Jackson will need to waive another player, or do some sort of two-for-one trade, if and when he plans on bringing anyone else new into the fold.

Will the Knicks choose to hold onto Jeremy Tyler?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

By waiving veteran Shannon Brown last month, the Knicks freed up their fifteenth and final roster spot, likely opening the door for the official signing of second-rounder Cleanthony Early.

After acquiring a handful of valuable young assets from the Mavericks earlier in the offseason, it makes sense that New York desires to see a return on such an investment. As the thirty-fourth overall selection in this year’s NBA Draft, there’s no doubt Early stands to make an impact relatively soon. As Phil Jackson optimistically looks ahead, the future for his team is now.

Jeremy Tyler D-LeagueOf course, if and when they do sign the Witchita State product to a contract, the Knicks will once again employ the maximum fifteen players. The team now has the flexibility to sign Early, but what if Jackson and co. want more?

With a plethora of guards already on the roster, Brown proved to be the odd man out. His mediocre showing at NBA Summer League likely didn’t do much to help his cause, either. But what’s more, he was one of two Knickerbockers with a non-guaranteed contract for this upcoming season. This certainly added to the likelihood of his impending release.

Who’s the other player with a non-guaranteed contract? That would be known other than big man Jeremy Tyler, whose own respective showing at NBA Summer League garnered more praise than Brown’s, to say the least. Between the two, keeping Tyler is a smart move. He’s young, has shown a bit of promise already, and as a defensive-minded big, is able to provide New York with something they’ve lacked consistently in the past.

Alas, for now, Tyler is safe. He edged out Brown, but how much longer will such comfort last?

As reported by TKB last month, the Knicks have until mid-September to ultimately decide whether or not they’d like to hold onto Tyler and his potential $948,000 contract. At this reasonably cheaper rate, there’s little risk to keeping Tyler around. It’s just a matter of whether or not Jackson and co. foresee better options coming along.

To read more of this story, click here

Busy summer for Tim Hardaway Jr. continues

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

If as though simply preparing to make the transition from rookie to sophomore in the NBA wasn’t enough for a youngster to deal with, Tim Hardaway Jr. will also play for a new head coach (Derek Fisher) in year two with the Knicks, under new management.

As arguably New York’s most prized and promising young possession, Hardaway Jr. has surely seen his name thrown around in a handful of trade rumors this offseason as the team aims to improve.

Tim Hardaway Jr.More often than not, a squad needs to give up talent to get it back in an alternative form. Despite this, the guard stands to be a part of the Knicks’ future, so in the meantime, he’s continued to improve his overall game along the way.

At NBA Summer League earlier this month, Hardaway Jr. was given an opportunity and was expected to dominate the competition. Luckily for he and the Knicks, that’s exactly what he did. Further proving his natural given gift to score in bunches, the Michigan product stole the show from the get-go, leading the Knicks to a 4-1 record on the week while averaging 22.8 points. Such a number cemented Hardaway Jr.’s place as the second-leading scorer out of all in Las Vegas.

Hardaway Jr. came up in the clutch. There’s no doubt about that. But fresh off stepping up as a staring attraction, it’s now time in the offseason for the spark-plug to take a step back once again. By joining the USA Select Team in Las Vegas this week, he now has an opportunity to learn from some of the game’s best coaches, while competing and playing alongside some of the game’s best players.

He’s been documenting his experience in a diary over at the New York Post. Coach Fisher was been on sight monitoring his progress as well.

It’s certainly been a busy summer for Hardaway Jr., who in between all of his on-the-court action has hosted various camps on Long Island. Nevertheless, the Knicks are sure to reap the benefits of his latest efforts this coming season.

How far away (or how close) are the Knicks from becoming a contender?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Any time a team trades an NBA All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year Award recipient and an All-NBA Defensive Team member all in one, some would assume they’re sure to suffer some sort of loss.

But by trading Tyson Chandler, the Knicks not only upgraded the point guard position, but also received a much-needed injection of youth. Each acquired asset allows Phil Jackson & Co. to continue setting a strong foundation for the future.

USATSI_7855769_110579513_lowresAnd as New York aims to rebuild (or otherwise retool, rather) perhaps building blocks for the future are simply what they need. Without cap flexibility until next summer, it would appear unlikely that the Knicks make other drastic changes to the roster, or better yet, have the assets necessary to reel in another marquee star via trade.

With that in mind, the 2014-15 season would stand to be a transitional period for the team as they wait for what’s to come.

Just don’t tell Carmelo Anthony that.

Upon choosing to re-sign with the Knicks for the next five years, the star forward has his sights set on competing for a championship. How far off the team is from doing so remains to be seen, but Anthony doesn’t believe the team has that far to go.

“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he recently told ESPN.com. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”

To read more of this story, click here

Pablo Prigioni

Prigioni high on Knicks’ chances

Pablo Prigioni, as he trains for the FIBA World Championship with Argentina, spoke about the Knicks over the weekend (NY Post, July 26).

Prigioni played with new Knick Jose Calderon in the Spanish League and looks forward to teaming up with him again.

“He is a great player and very good professional, a great 3-point shooting guy,” Prigioni said.

He also said that new head coach Derek Fisher is a “perfect” leader for the Knicks this year. Prigioni sees these developments as the tools for a successful Knicks season.

“I’m very excited with the changes that the team is doing and I’m completely sure we will play much better,” he said.

Is Steve Mills still in the running for NBPA Executive Director job?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Upon re-emerging in the Knicks’ organization and meeting with the media at the start of training camp last fall, Steve Mills asserted that he was a man in high-demand. If he hadn’t joined the team as President of Basketball Operations, Mills would have still been considered a likely candidate for the Executive Director position in the NBPA.

But with the arrival of Phil Jackson (and the re-assignment of Mills to General Manager), many initially wondered if the two could work together. Known for reeling in and relying upon his own familiar confidants, would Jackson even want to work with Mills?

Steve MillsAs the thirteen-time NBA champion came into power with the Knicks, Mills’ name once again resurfaced as a potential candidate for Executive Director of the NBPA. A highly regarded individual known for his ability to build relationships and personable demeanor, Mills is well-liked by all. He’d be more than able to help keep the peace between the players and the league. What’s more, whereas Mills’ handle on the basketball side of things in an organization has been questioned by some, his savvy nature as a successful businessman could undoubtedly aid him in such an alternative role.

July 27: Mills replied to the story…

As the NBPA inches closer towards naming its new fearless leader, Mills is not among the three finalists reported by Yahoo! Sports. Having said that, there are still rumblings (as recently as this past week) that the Knicks’ G.M. could still have a shot at the job, nonetheless.

By now, as fate would have it, Jackson and Mills have developed a strong working relationship in recent months. The two could be seen together at NBA Summer League, and as Jackson’s right-hand man, Mills is seemingly the ying to his yang. Whereas Jackson knows basketball better than just about anybody in The Association, Mills knows what it takes to maintain relationships across the league. He’s a schmoozer, which is clearly something Jackson is not. As a fierce competitor, sometimes one has to put their foot on the neck of their opponents to pull away with meaningful victories. As a coach, Jackson wasn’t necessarily concerned with keeping his opponents happy.

Alas, that’s where Mills comes in. He fits in that role as a liaison of sorts between the Knicks and others across the league. As such, Jackson and Mills have been able to find a successful balance of power, or better yet, responsibility.

Surprisingly enough, it would appear as though New York would feel the loss, if Mills happens to pull ahead as a likely candidate for the NBPA gig yet again.