Tuesday's Summer League Practice Report: Melo, New Coaches, & Chemistry

by Jonah Ballow

For the second straight day in Las Vegas, the Knicks new coaching staff spent significant time in the practice gym with the 2014 Summer League squad.  Here’s the latest from Sin City:

  • With Carmelo Anthony’s free agency decision looming, Knicks head coach Derek Fisher shared a couple of brief comments.  “He wants to win, wants to be successful. The time I had the visit with him I just shared with him we’ll be a better basketball team because we’ll play the game a better way, play as a team, play with a system and format to allow the game to be easier for him for him and his teammates,” he said.
  • Fisher will coach the Knicks Summer League team.  At times, a team will allow the assistants to coach but Fisher is excited to jump right into action on Friday afternoon.  “I’m just excited to get after it,” Fisher smiled.  “To have this opportunity to be the head coach of the New York Knicks…. why wait.  It’s Summer League but it’s still apart of the NBA, part of basketball and as coaches we have to be examples to our players that all of this matters.” 

  • Former Timberwolves head coach and Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis was fully involved in the practice sessions on Monday and Tuesday.  New York also added Joshua Longstaff from Oklahoma City’s staff and Rasheed Hazzard, who worked for the Lakers.

  • Fisher discussed the importance of the practice sessions before game action and teaching his offensive and defensive philosophies to the young group of players.  “This is going to be the way we play and so it’s important, especially having some guys on our roster that will be there for us when camp starts, then we start getting them ahead of the curve right now,” Fisher stated.

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. provided an update on his summer workouts.  “Just a lot of ball handling.  I just try to emphasize as much as I can with my trainer back at home and doing a lot of resistance with my legs and making sure my legs get stronger, so I can move better on the defensive end.”

  • Newly acquired guard Shane Larkin discussed the unique situation of this New York team considering all the new faces inside the locker room.  “It’s kinda cool that we are going through this together as a first time through.”

  • The Knicks are scheduled to practice tomorrow and Thursday before the first Summer League game on Friday against Dallas.  Watch all the action on MSG Network at 4 PM Eastern and an encore presentation at 9:30 PM.