Knicks to Return to Garden Friday (UPDATED) | 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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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Knicks to Return to Garden Friday (UPDATED)

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    **The Knicks issued the following statement Wednesday evening**

    “After receiving assurance from the city and environmental experts regarding the safety of the arena for our customers and employees, all events at Madison Square Garden, beginning with Friday night’s Knicks game, will go on as scheduled. We have been working with the appropriate experts to confirm the arena is safe since debris fell during overnight work Monday.

    “We will announce the rescheduled date for the postponed Knicks v. Magic game, in conjunction with the NBA, in the near future. We would like to thank the city for their assistance in this matter, and appreciate the patience of our fans.”

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Amar’e Stoudemire was at home Tuesday when he received an email from the Knicks saying the game against the Orlando Magic had been postponed because of asbestos-related debris at Madison Square Garden.

    “I hadn’t left the house yet,” Stoudemire said Wednesday at practice.

    The Knicks (1-2) play at Chicago Thursday and are slated to host the Washington Wizards Friday and the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday at the Garden, although no announcement has been made about the status of the Washington game.

    “Call Barry Watkins,” said Knicks president Donnie Walsh, referring to the MSG spokesman. “I tell you that 10 times. Call Barry Watkins.”

    Through Watkins, the Knicks on Tuesday issued a statement saying, “We will not reopen the Garden until we are absolutely assured the arena is safe.”

    “I feel confident we’ll be back on Friday,” Stoudemire said. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”

    He added: “You definitely want to play the safe route. That’s first and foremost, but I do think that everything will be taken care of.”

    Stoudemire said he recalled having a game postponed in Denver once because of a “blizzard.”

    “I’ve never really been part of a situation where there’s something wrong with the arena, but I think we’ll be OK,” he said.

    With a night off, Walsh, Stoudemire and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said they stayed home and watched basketball, either live or taped.

    Asked if the players expressed concern about breathing in asbestos, D’Antoni joked, “It was either Dwight Howard or breathing bad material, so it’s a toss-up.”

    D’Antoni was also asked about reports that the Knicks have been in contact with the Prudential Center about possibly playing games there if the Garden isn’t ready.

    “I don’t know that,” he said. “You’re asking the wrong guy. I got enough trouble getting Amar’e ready.”

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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.

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