‘Melo met Prince Harry and it was magical

Carmelo Anthony met Prince Harry while in London with the Knicks to play an exhibition game against the Bucks. The Knicks lost, but the most surprising part of the trip was stealing the spotlight from the prince during a meeting at St. James’ Palace (Knicks, Jan. 18).

“You didn’t know what to expect,” Anthony said.  “To see him and walking in the room together and the kids in there laughing and joking.  It was a warm welcome from him to me.  It was an honor.  I never thought I’d meet the prince.”

Anthony teamed up with Prince Harry to hand out certificates to the graduates of the Core Coach program, which was created in 2012 by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The program is designed to train the next generation of sports coaches.

“An honor, an honor, a beautiful moment,” Anthony said. “It was a spectacular day for me to be around those kids and the Prince as well.”

Toure Murry: I could fit in triangle offense

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

When Phil Jackson assumed President duties for the Knicks last March, he went right to work and began assessing last season’s roster. His initial task was figuring out which players,aside from Carmelo Anthony (if any), were worth holding onto for the future.

When push came to shove, Jackson’s offseason execution made it clear he wanted to leave his mark on the team as soon as possible. He made a major move in the summer, and his subsequent trades most recently only confirm this is a transitional period as the first-time executive aims to put his own respective stamp on this team.

In a perfect world, Jackson will surround Anthony with a real quality player or two, and then fill out the roster with a couple of veterans and some youthful talent as well. With Langston Galloway just signing a second ten-day contract, and those of Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas set to expire (giving the Knicks more flexibility to explore other options) in the days to follow, this is a perfect time to find those potential youngsters and start building towards next season.

As fate would have it, perhaps Jackson has already let one promising prospect slip through his fingers. Despite there being reason for him to be intrigued, the executive opted not to sign Toure Murry this past offseason.

At 6’5″ and 195 pounds, Murry’s “taller” frame allows him to pester opposing floor generals on defense. What’s more, he was gaining confidence as someone who could run in an uptempo offense towards the end of last season.

All signs point to Murry not only being a low-risk, high-reward commodity at this point, but also a steady fit in the triangle offense.

He happens to agree.

“I definitely could fit in the triangle offense. It just takes practice,” the guard said to TheKnicksBlog.com and SNY.tv at the NBA D-League Showcase. Though he started the season with the Utah Jazz, the 25-year old has since been waived and is current suiting up for the Houston Rockets’ affiliate.

[The triangle] takes time to study. You have to be a student of the game,” he said. Downplaying the assumed difficulty of the system, he added, “Eventually. I’d catch on.”

As Murry struggles to stick in the NBA, many scouts ponder his true identity in the league.

“Definitely a point guard. I feel like a playmaker,” Murry said. “I can push the pace. I’m able to get guys going and get them easy baskets. That’s what I do.”

As a taller defensive guard who hopes to keep his eyes open for teammates on offense, Murry would appear to be a decent fit in the Big Apple. Should the Knicks find a taker and ultimately end up trading Jose Calderon, the former Knickerbocker may be worth taking a second chance on before season’s end.

 

Knicks sign St. Joe’s Galloway to second 10-day contract

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

The Knicks have signed guard Langston Galloway to a second consecutive 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-1 St. Joe’s product is averaging 9.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds over 24.2 minutes in four games. He re-signed with the Knicks on Jan. 7, becoming the NBA D-League Westchester Knicks’ first-ever Call-Up.

As the 5-36 Knicks eye the upcoming NBA Draft and reshaping the roster for next season, Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher plan to give younger guys like Galloway a chance to showcase their skills.

“Langston is mature for a young player, gone to school for four years,’’ Fisher said recently, per the Post. “Not being afraid of the moment as a young guy was really impressive over the summer. He’s done some good things in Westchester so far that tell us he is a guy who can develop into a good pro player. We’re excited to have him here for a short period. He’s going to try to make the most of it.’’


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for NBA.com and SNY.tv. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.

NBA exec doubts claim ‘no one has Steve Mills’ phone number’

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

At least one NBA executive doubts the claim made to Bleacher Report by another executive that “No one has [GM] Steve Mills’ phone number.”

“How could that be true if they just made multiple trades?” the executive asked SNY.tv. “Do you think Phil [Jackson] made those calls?”

The Knicks did just deal Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland for Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson and a 2019 draft pick.

Steve MillsThe Knicks last summer also dealt Tyson Chandler and Ray Felton to Dallas for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin and Samuel Dalembert, whom the Knicks have since waived.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban made that deal with the Knicks and was obviously able to get in touch with the decision-makers.

“Obviously it would have been better if we could have kept him, right?” Cuban said of Chandler in the fall. “But our hand was dealt with all the changes. All’s well that ends well. I think it turned out just the way we wanted, just the way I planned.”


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for NBA.com and SNY.tv. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.

Asst. coach Rambis: Staff is ‘committed’ to Fisher

The Knicks are on pace for possibly the worst record in NBA history (9-73), but as rookie coach Derek Fisher struggles through this season, it’s helpful to know he has the support of his staff. In a rare media availability during the Knicks’ trip to London where they lost to the Bucks at the O2 Arena, assistant coach Kurt Rambis pledged his support to Fisher (Post, Jan. 16).

“Everything’s an adjustment for him,” Rambis said. “It would be an adjustment just if he went from playing to assistant coach. So he was kind of thrown into the fire. But everyone on the staff is in it for the long haul and committed. And it’s going to happen but it’s going to take some time.’’

While Fisher staff is behind him, that doesn’t mean some big changes aren’t to come.

“We’re changing who we are and how we do business,’’ Fisher said. “That’s not easy to do in front of the whole world, but that’s what our job is. In the midst of it, things can always look like a failure.’’

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‘Melo played in London to ‘test’ his recovery

Carmelo Anthony came off a two-week rest period on Thursday to play in the exhibition game against the Bucks in London at the O2 Arena (NY Post, Jan. 16).

While TNT analyst and Hall of Fame Pacers guard Reggie Miller called ‘Melo’s decision “selfish” (Post, Jan. 15), Anthony said he wanted to see if rest was the cure or if something more needed to be done for his right knee.

“I feel my body responded very well,’’ said Anthony. “I just got a chance to get some rest in this two-week program we implemented at the top of the year and it really paid off to use some rest. I just wanted to see if rest was the answer.’’

After a shaky first quarter, taking just three shots, Anthony appeared to be much more comfortable, finishing the night with 25 points in 27 minutes with two steals and two assists. Although, he did turn over the ball eight times.

“It felt good,’’ Anthony said of his knee, which has threatened to shut down his season since December. “I think it’s just a matter of trying to get everything intact, my full body, to focus in on rehab, therapy and treatment I really needed. I really think these two weeks really helped. At least it got me to this point to get back on the court again. I’m back. I’m back playing.’’

Anthony, who will more than likely need surgery to fix what could be loose or torn cartilage, is trying to postpone it until after the All-Star Game. Right now, he just wants to be there for his team amidst their 5-36 season.

“Personally, I just want to focus on getting healthy, the No. 1 goal, to be able to come back next year at full strength,’’ Anthony said. “But in the meantime I took time off to get back because I want to be with my teammates and give them some confidence as young players who’ve never been through this situation before and I’ve never been though. So we’re going through it together. I don’t want to turn my back on them. The easiest thing to do is take the year and shut it down. We’ve buried ourselves in a deep hole right now.’’

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

As far as NBA All-Star Weekend goes, it’d be nice to see the Knicks have some representation, especially with the big game being played at MSG. Nevertheless, the game provides fans with an opportunity to watch the league’s biggest and brightest stars compete. Those around New York City should be able to appreciate that, regardless.

Anthony is still one of the more popular players in the league. With the festivities going on in New York, fans are even more inclined to vote him in. But does he deserve it? His numbers are down and his team is losing. What’s more, pressing on to play over the next few weeks (so that he proves healthy enough to play in the big game) could further damage his long-term health. Of course, his ability to actively compete at the highest level in the future will come into play sooner than later, when the Knicks aim to attract free agents and use playing with the forward as a major selling point.

While the All-Star Game (and its related festivities) doesn’t come around town all too often, it might be better off to see Anthony sit this one out, regardless of whether or not he’s actually voted in. If his number one priority truly is getting healthy enough to compete and ensure that the Knicks bounce back next season, taking time to recover (and/or have the necessary surgery) would be the smartest move.

It’s a slippery slope. Anthony just can’t simply emerge to play in the All-Star Game in a few weeks and then sit back down. He needs to play over the next few weeks to prove healthy enough to hit the court. Whether or not that’ll prove to be a worthwhile risk is up for debate.

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