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.
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.”
Knicks forward Al Harrington said the preparation for the Charlotte game — which the Knicks lost 102-100 in double OT — wasn’t as bad as some things that happened last year and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
“For the most part I didn’t think that the preparation for the game was that bad,” he said. “Last year we had had episodes where guys were out there having dance contests and all types of stuff before a game, but that’s not what happened in Charlotte. But if Duhon saw that, he saw it and he has the right to comment on that because he’s one of the captains of the team. And if he wants us to be more focused we’ve got to do that.”
After the Charlotte game, Duhon told reporters: “We lost this game before the game even started. 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.”
D’Antoni plans to start Danilo Gallinari, who is averaging 19 points off the bench through two games, over Harrington, who started the first two games and is averaging 16.
“Just looking at the combinations in the sense that I think Gallo would be better off with athletic guys on the side of him,” D’Antoni said in reference to the other starters.
Harrington said before the season that he deserved to start, but took the high road with the media.
“I think I’m a starter but on this team if coach needs me to come off the bench, I’m going to come off the bench,” he said. “And I’m going to do well at it. I’m going to be the best bench player, too, so that’s all I’m looking forward to.”
(Photo courtesy NY Daily News)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.