The Knicks enter this year’s training camp a bit younger than last season’s veteran-laden squad. While the collective age for the crew dropped, head coach Mike Woodson is taking a different approach to the 2013 camp to ensure long lasting health for the elder statesman and players with injury history on the team.
“Last year with the exceptions of Rasheed and Amar’e all the vets went through everything last year,” Woodson recalled. “It was a brutal camp because most of these guys hadn’t experienced anything like that in terms of all the running that we do.”
Woodson shed light on his game plan for camp, “This year, I’m going to be a little open minded to guys like Tyson and Metta World Peace. Those guys have logged some time and minutes in this league, you know Kenyon and Amar’e. I have to scale it back a little bit and still make sure that the young guys are going to get their conditioning and getting the tutoring on the floor that they to help us win games if they are thrown into a ball game. They still have to have feel good about what they do to.”
The head coach also told reporters he will try to tailor minutes for Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin in order to maximize their time on the floor.
Iman Shumpert sat out Thursday’s training camp session with a sore shoulder. The third-year wing quickly calmed Knicks nation by stating, “This was minor.”
He was advised to not practice today and opted for rest as the team prepares for the preseason opener next Wednesday. Shumpert did not seem concerned and even joked, “I’m just glad it’s not my knee man, honestly.”
Metta World Peace grabbed a chair and held court following Thursday’s session. As always, he was gold.
When asked about the Knicks talent, World Peace quickly answered, “I could careless about talent. Intelligence, you know gaining intelligence, taking in what the coaches have given you, putting that in your intelligent bank. You know, I’m not just big on hard work. I know a lot of teams that worked hard and lost. I know a lot of teams that have talent and lost. So, you want to make sure you are out there being intelligent and working hard and I think that will get us over the top.”
World Peace also compared his new coach to his old coach, “I think Woody remind me of Phil Jackson a little bit.” He later added, “As far as holding each other accountable.”
I posed the question about his role on the team and if it differs from last year’s run with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“That’s up to Woody,” World Peace stated. “Coach looks at what he has on the floor, who is on his team, he makes the best decisions for the team to win and you have to be ready to be implemented in his decision making. You have to be ready to execute what he wants you to execute.”
Finally, Mr. Peace offered some nutrition tips, “"You age when you eat bad, when you don’t take care of your body, too much alcoholic beverages."