October 2009 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 27.
  • A day after Knicks’ point guard Chris Duhon called out his teammates for a lack of focus entering the Charlotte game, his bosses and teammates reacted.

    “I don’t think it’s a problem, let me put it that way,” Knicks President Donnie Walsh said before the Sixers-Knicks game Saturday at MSG.

    Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, though, said he was “glad he [Duhon] stepped up.”

    “He probably could’ve done it just with the guys,” D’Antoni added. “Obviously, that would’ve been better. But we’re trying to get guys to get on the right side of professionalism and we need to do that.

    “I don’t think it’s a big problem.”

    No. 2 seed New Heights and the No. 1 New York Panthers will play for the is8 championship on Sunday in Queens after both teams won their semifinal games Saturday.

    JayVaughn Pinkston poured in a game-high 30 points on 12-of-21 shooting and added seven rebounds, and Devon Collier added 27 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to lead New Heights to an 84-80 victory over St. Benedict’s Prep.

    “It’s great,” New Heights coach Kimani Young said. “is8 is one of the premier tournaments on the East Coast. To be right there at the end, the last two out of 70 teams, it’s a great accomplishment.”

    The Knicks are only two games into their season and already there are signs of discord.

    After Friday night’s 102-100 double-overtime loss at Charlotte, point guard Chris Duhon said he and his teammates “lost the game before it even started” because of a lack of focus.

    “We lost this game before the game even started,” Duhon, who had 13 points and 8 assists, told reporters. “A lot of us weren’t taking the game serious — joking around, not really preparing for the game, and it showed. It just seems like we’re always taking a team’s first punch.”

    He added: “We’re not that good. We can’t come in here and joke around and take the game lightly. It is a precious game, and we’ve got to be serious.”



    The Knicks begin a four-game homestand tonight against the 76ers, and it marks the first game I’ll cover for NBA.com.  Check that site later tonight for my story.

    The game will feature a reunion of former Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick teammates Al Harrington of the Knicks and Sam Dalembert of the Sixers.

    Kentucky freshman guard John Wall has been cleared to play by the NCAA.

    The 6-foot-4 Wall must repay nearly $800 in expenses and sit the first exhibition game against Campbellsville (Nov. 2) and the first regular-season game against Morehead State (Nov. 13).

    “I’m grateful to have this decision behind me. All I ever wanted was to go to school and play ball with my team,” Wall said. “This has been really hard for my mom and I want to thank her for her support during this process.”

    If Mick Cronin had his way, every top player in New York City would follow Lance Stephenson.

    To Cincinnati.

    “I think it’s great for all the best players in New York to get out of New York and come to Cincinnati,” Cronin said with a smile in an interview you can see in the Video Player at right. “We hope that everybody follows Lance.”

    The 6-foot-5 Stephenson was voted the Big East preseason Rookie of the Year, but is still awaiting word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on his amateurism issues.

    “We’re waiting,” Cronin said. “He’s cleared academically so we’re just waiting on the amateur thing. He’s not the only one waiting. A lot of the elite players [John Wall, Renardo Sidney] are going through it…Hopefully, it’s done before the first game, I know that.”

    ***UPDATE: “The Street Stops Here” will appear nationally on PBS Wednesday, March 31 at 10 p.m.***

    One of the bonuses of being a professional journalist is that you sometimes get advance copies of movies or books for review purposes.

    On Wednesday I received a Fedex delivery containing the film, “The Street Stops Here,” which documents Bob Hurley’s 2007-08 St. Anthony Friars, who went a perfect 32-0 en route to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title and won a national-record 25th state championship.

    I watched it Thursday in the privacy of my living room and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film, and not just because I appear on camera (for about a split second) during a locker room scene in which Coach Hurley is yelling at his players.

    This film is the perfect video complement to Adrian Wojnarowski’s wonderful book, “The Miracle of St. Anthony.”

    If you are any kind of basketball fan, or any fan of human drama in general, run, don’t walk, to see this movie.

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