July 25, 2024

WATCH VIDEO: John Starks

Former New York Knicks Guard John Starks helped out a fellow athlete on one of the hottest days of the year so far in New York City when he attended Justin Tuck's Celebrity Billiard's Tournament.

Starks weathered the heat and took a moment to speak with What's The 411's Crystal Lynn about why he's supporting Justin Tuck's R.U.S.H for Literacy.

New York Giants' Justin Tuck hosted his annual Tuck's Celebrity Billiard's Tournament presented by RXR, a leading New York Tri-State real estate operating company, on Thursday, May 30 at Slate NYC.

The event has been a popular fundraiser in Manhattan for the past four years. More than 35 celebrities were expected to take part in a single elimination 8 ball tournament, emceed by well-known actor Anthony Anderson, in which the winner will receive the Grand Prize Luxury Package that will benefit Tuck's R.U.S.H for Literacy and the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

Tuck, a Defensive End for the New York Giants, started his R.U.S.H for Literacy (Read. Understand. Succeed. Hope.) charity in 2008 in hopes of providing children with the necessary resources to improve their reading skills. Thus far, 10,000 students in the Tri-State and Central Alabama communities have received new books and other materials. The Tucks have donated over 55,000 books and raised over $1.5 million dollars since the charity's inception. They have also supported other non-profit organization by donating over $150,000 in grants. This year $25,000 of the Celebrity Billiards' net proceeds will be going to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund as well.

In addition to John Starks, other celebrities that What's The 411 caught up with at Justin Tuck's Celebrity Billiard's Tournament included: included: Justin Tuck; Vivica A. Fox; Jason Kidd; Anthony Anderson; Meeka Claxton, wife of Craig "Speedy" Claxton and former star of VH1's Basketball Wives; Jeanette "Black Widow" Lee; and Jared Fogle (better known as Jared the subway guy).

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed guard Pablo Prigioni to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Prigioni, 6-3, 185-pounds, was the first Argentine-born player in Knicks history and made his NBA debut at age 35 after signing as a free agent on Jul. 24, 2012. He averaged 3.5 points, 3.0 assists and 1.8 rebounds over 16.2 minutes in 78 games (18 starts) this past season and was inserted into the Knicks starting lineup on Mar. 18 to help lead the team to the franchise's third-longest winning streak of 13. In 11 postseason games (10 starts), Prigioni averaged 4.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.27 steals over 20.9 minutes.

"We are very excited to have Pablo back in a Knicks uniform. He is one of our catalysts on both the offensive and defensive end," Grunwald said. "His tenacity, leadership and experience played an integral role in our team's success down the stretch, and into the postseason."

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Andrea Bargnani from Toronto in exchange for center Marcus Camby, forward Steve Novak, guard/forward Quentin Richardson (via sign-and-trade), a first-round draft selection in the 2016 NBA Draft and second-round selections in 2014 and 2017.

“Seven-foot versatile players with a good mid-range offensive game and an ability to stretch the other team’s defense are hard to come by in this league,” Grunwald said. “Andrea has proven to be a quality scorer who adds another dimension to our team. We are excited to add him to our frontline.”

Bargnani, 7-0, 256-pounds, was selected No. 1 overall by Toronto in the 2006 NBA Draft, and after seven seasons with the Raptors, ranks third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 6,581 points, second in three-point field goals (579) and fourth in games played (418). He holds career averages of 15.2 points, on 43.7-percent shooting from the field, and 4.8 rebounds over 30.3 minutes in 433 games (316 starts). Bargnani posted a career-best 41 points, and added seven rebounds and six assists, versus the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8, 2010.

“Andrea has great size and can create huge match-up problems for our opponents,” Head Coach Mike Woodson said. “He can score both inside and out. He will be a great complement to Carmelo, Tyson and Amar’e.”

The native of Rome, Italy, averaged 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 28.7 minutes in 35 games during the 2012-13 season. Although Bargnani missed 46 games due to injury/illness, he scored in double-digits 11 times, reached the 20-point plateau eight times and scored a season-high 34 points on Nov. 23, 2012, at Detroit.

Camby, 6-11, 245-pounds, appeared in 24 games (four starts) for New York during the 2012-13 season – his second tenure with the Knicks. He averaged 1.8 points and 3.3 rebounds and being acquired from Portland, via sign-and-trade, on Jul. 11, 2012.

Novak, 6-10, 225-pounds, averaged 6.6 points, on 41.4-percent shooting from the field and 42.5-percent from three-point range, over 81 games (one start) during the 2012-13 season – his second season with the Knicks. He was claimed off waivers from San Antonio on Dec. 21, 2012.

Richardson, 6-6, 220-pounds, appeared in one game for the Knicks during the 2012-13 season – his second tenure with New York. He signed as a free agent on Apr. 16, 2013.

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed guard J.R. Smith to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Smith, 6-6, 220-pounds, became just the third player in franchise history to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award (joining Anthony Mason and John Starks) by averaging a career-high 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 33.5 minutes in 80 games off the bench last season. He earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the period ending Mar. 31, after posting three consecutive 30-point efforts off the bench, becoming the first NBA player to accomplish the feat in over 23 years.

"Re-signing J.R. was one of our primary goals this offseason and we are thrilled to have him back," Grunwald said. "He made great strides this past season with his consistent play off the bench for us, and we look forward to his continued growth."

The Freehold, NJ-native originally signed with New York as a free agent on Feb. 17, 2012, and then re-signed on Jul. 11, 2012. He holds career averages of 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 25.4 minutes in 618 games (130 starts) over nine seasons with New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Denver and New York.

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed forward Kenyon Martin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Martin, 6-9, 230-pounds, averaged 7.2 points, on 60.2-percent shooting, and 5.3 rebounds over 23.9 minutes in 18 games (11 starts) with New York this past season. In 12 post-season games (one start), he averaged 5.8 points, on 58.0-percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 1.42 blocks over 21.1 minutes. He originally signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on Feb. 23, 2013, and then, for the remainder of the season on Mar. 15.

“Kenyon did a fantastic job for us once he signed in February,” Grunwald said. “He strengthened our frontline going into an important stretch of the season with some very impressive performances. We are happy to have him back.”

The Saginaw, MI-native, holds career averages of 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 31.4 minutes in 13 seasons with New Jersey, Denver, the L.A. Clippers and New York. In 112 postseason games (88 starts), he has averaged 12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 32.1 minutes. He was selected by New Jersey, following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati, with the first overall pick of 2000 NBA Draft. Martin was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2001 and represented the Eastern Conference at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game.

Glen Grunwald Stays on with the New York Knicks as an Advisor

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that Steve Mills, who previously served as a key executive with the Knicks for 10 years, has been named the team's president and general manager. Mills replaces Glen Grunwald, who will remain with the organization as an advisor.

"I am pleased to be able to welcome Steve back to the Knicks. He is a well-respected sports executive with a strong background in basketball, as well as a familiarity with NBA operations and our company. We look forward to his leadership and believe he is the right person to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship," said James Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company.

"We are grateful for Glen's many years of valuable service and pleased that he will remain with the organization," Dolan added.

A 30-year veteran of the sports world, Mills' career has included 16 years with the National Basketball Association, where his talents led to a notable ascent from account executive to senior vice president of basketball and player development. This was followed by 10 years at The Madison Square Garden Company, where Mills had a wide range of responsibilities that included overseeing business and basketball operations for the Knicks and Liberty, along with business operations for the Rangers and for all other sports-related activities at The Garden.

"I want to thank Jim for this opportunity to return to the Knicks in this important position. It is an honor and a privilege to work for such a storied franchise and I look forward to doing whatever it takes to make the Knicks a successful franchise and a team that fans can be proud of, both now and in the future," Mills stated.

After 10 years with the Toronto Raptors, Grunwald has been with the Knicks in various capacities since 2006 and will continue to work with the organization as an advisor.

Mills' decade-long career at The Madison Square Garden Company included his role as president of MSG Sports, during which he oversaw all business operations, including marketing and community relations, for the company's three professional sports teams and Sports Properties, which included college basketball, boxing, and track and field. Steve originally joined the Knicks as executive vice president of franchise operations in September 1999 and became president of sports teams operations for Madison Square Garden in 2001.

Prior to his move to The Garden, Mills played an integral role in the development of the National Basketball Association, where he held several positions with increasing responsibility, including his last role as senior vice president, basketball and player development. His responsibilities included managing the league's relationships with all domestic and international basketball organizations, including the NCAA and USA Basketball, as well as overseeing the NBA's developmental programs and player initiatives during one of the most critical periods in league history. Mills also played a key role in the creation of the Women's National Basketball Association and served on the team responsible for the negotiation of the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement. Mr. Mills started his career with the NBA in 1983 as an account executive in the corporate sponsorship department of NBA Properties.

Before returning to MSG, Mills most recently served as partner and CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group, LLC, a company he created in 2010 that links sports and entertainment stars with investment and management leaders to create new business opportunities.

An accomplished collegiate basketball player, Mills started three seasons at guard for Hall of Fame Coach Pete Carril at Princeton University, where he helped lead the Tigers to two Ivy League first-place finishes, including the league title and a NCAA berth in 1981. He also played professionally for one season in South America in 1981.

Mills earned a degree in sociology from Princeton in 1981 and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors for USA Basketball. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Princeton Varsity Club and on the Advisory Board for Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery. Mr. Mills and his wife Beverly have two daughters and reside in South Orange, NJ.

Can Knicks center Tyson Chandler make up for his missed free-throw against the Bulls? Breaking down the New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves preview

The 2013-14 NBA season is upon us once again and the New York Knicks and their fans are looking for a championship this season. As team orange and blue gets ready to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, one game on the road to hopefully snagging the Larry Obryan Trophy in June, let's do a recap.

Looking Back

The Knicks opened their campaign with an unimpressive 90-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at home. On the second game of a back-to-back, the Knicks came two points short of a morale-boosting win against the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks lost a heartbreaker to the Bulls, 81-82. One of the culprits for the loss was a missed free-throw shot by center Tyson Chandler with 10.8 seconds left in the 4th quarter. A bucket could have sent the game into overtime and then with a higher basketball IQ in place and perhaps, luck, a win.

If there are any positives to take away from this loss is that the Knicks can hang with a top tier team in the Eastern Conference. However, on the flip side, Carmelo Anthony and the guys are still dogged by the failure of registering a win against Chicago in five straight contests dating back to last season. What's ironic about the Knicks' struggles against the Bulls is that they have enjoyed overwhelming success against the Miami Heat, the reigning defending champions. The Knicks took three of four victories against the South Beach kids last season.

The Knicks are an enigma, but aren't we all? All-in-all, it's too early in this brand new season to label the Knicks. The team has experienced a roster overhaul replacing nine players from last season to this season's reduced collection of seven additions most notably rookie guard Tim Hardaway Jr., forward Andrea Bargnani, forward Metta World Peace, and JR Smith's little brother Chris, also a guard. So the Knicks need time to gel.

Looking Forward

Tomorrow evening, the Knicks will return home to host a Western Conference opponent, the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 pm in the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Unlike the Knicks, the Timberwolves have yet to experience defeat. They are currently sitting at the top of the Western Conference undefeated at 2-0. They defeated the Orlando Magic in overtime 120-115 and the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-81. Although the Knicks have made significant alterations to their roster gaining youth opposed to last year's AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), the Timberwolves are still younger and probably faster.

Floor General Ricky Rubio, a Spanish import, has established himself as one of the premier point guards in this game due to his advanced ability to find teammates anywhere on the court for easy baskets. He is capable of dominating the game by passing exclusively. Forward Kevin Love, who missed a substantial amount of time last season due to a variety of injuries enters this season relatively healthy. He's looking forward to reminding us all who the best power forward is in the game today behind Spurs future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. The rest of the wolves feature a well-balanced team in bigs, wingmen, and guards that include rebounding machine F Nikola Pekovic, F Dante Cunningham, F Derrick Williams, F Corey Brewer, F Chase Budinger, G Kevin Martin, and rookies G Shabazz Muhammad and C Gorgui Dieng.

The Western conference in totality has remained consistent in providing a tough night for any team and that's what I believe the Knicks are in for.

The Wolves are going to look to run as they have the personnel to rebound and push the break. Star players always salivate at the opportunity to play in the Mecca of Basketball. I expect Love to take full advantage in showcasing his skills. I expect the Knicks to come out hungry to relieve the stress of receiving a loss to the Bulls earlier this week. They will offer a spirited effort in their return from a one-game road trip. Every night Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony steps on the hardwood, the NBA community, as well as the fans, expect a scoring clinic and I expect Anthony to deliver the goods. The Wolves desire to be taken seriously within the Western Conference and the Knicks are anxious to step foot on the basketball court to avenge their previous loss. Expect a good quality and grind-it-out back and forth contest.

 

WATCH VIDEO - NEW YORK KNICKS CHASE BLUE CARPET

In celebration of the reconstructed Madison Square Garden and to tip-off the 2013-14 NBA season, the New York Knicks held the Blue Carpet Event presented by Chase Bank.

Knicks' legends, professional boxers, and many more stars filled the Chase Blue Carpet as they entered the revamped arena for the Knicks' home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Blue Carpet celebrants, as well as, fans weighed in on their prospects for the Knicks' 2013-14 season.

Former Knicks players, Larry Johnson, John Wallace, and John Starks, as well as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Damaris Lewis, believe the versatility and attitude of newly acquired players, Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace, along with the strong qualities of rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., are fitting additions to the championship caliber team.

Former professional heavyweight boxer, Gerry Cooney, gushed over the beauty of the new MSG interior, in particular, the spacious Chase Bank Seventh Avenue entrance lobby filled with memorabilia and two 600-square-foot screens on the ceiling. Wallace and others raved over the transformed arena and phenomenal view from the Chase Bridges, which contain glass walls to provide a clear view of the court. The Chase Bridges seat up to 430 fans and are accompanied by a total of six scoreboard monitors. Finally, not to be forgotten, there was endless praise over the newly installed HD scoreboard above center court with mini scoreboards embedded underneath for players and fans to view conveniently from courtside and the lower bowl.

After three years and $1 billion worth of renovations, MSG has heightened the experience of what is known as "The Mecca" to an unprecedented level. Let's see if the metamorphic arena will reflect in a highly successful season for the Knicks.

 

Videography: Alexis Williams

Jeremy Lin reflects on his growth since being traded from the New York Knicks to the Houston Rockets

"That's the sign of our growth as a team," Jeremy Lin said responding to a reporter's question after the Houston Rockets beat the Brooklyn Nets 106-96. "We probably wouldn't have done that earlier in the season. We probably would have folded and fell and given away the game. We regrouped, took their hit, then counter-punched, and we were able to get the win."

Jeremy sees that maturity was a factor in the team's ability to get the win over the Brooklyn Nets tonight.

"We got some stops when we needed to, but we made it tough, we made it tough for them."

Jeremy sees that he is blending in and believes that the team is really blending.

"The past couple of weeks, we've shown flashes of in my mind, of being a really, really good team whether it's a game against OKC or Golden State or games like that," he said. "Today was an uglier one. We turned the ball over; we didn't play as well as we normally did, but we were able to get the win so we're thankful for that."

And, it's always good when you can get a win on the road.

"Any win on the road is a great win for us," he responded. "We want to keep pushing and try to build a winning streak; we have a favorable schedule coming up."

What has been Jeremy Lin's biggest adjustment coming from the New York Knicks to the Houston Rockets?

"I think it's just different, because it's a different system and I'm in a different role; being able play alongside a huge and elite playmaker in James Harden and learning to mesh with him and we're getting there and I'm really happy with where we're at right now and I'm happy with where our team is in terms of how we're playing."

So what does Jeremy Lin miss about New York City?

"I miss the fans, just like how crazy the Garden (Madison Square Garden) would get last year, how loud and awesome the experience was, yeah, that's what I miss most."

Has Jeremy Lin experienced the level of excitement in other NBA arenas like the Linsanity at Madison Square Garden in New York City?

"Here and there, here and there," he said. "Sometimes it will get crazy and stuff. I think our last home game against OKC back home that was insane; we had the Toyota Center rocking, so, it was cool."

So is it less pressure on him being in a smaller market.

"Less pressure, less spotlight, so it usually means less pressure," Jeremy said.

What will be the point of success for this team in making the playoff and going forward?

"I think consistency and I think it's attention to detail on the defensive end," he responded. "I think offensively we're okay. Offensively we'll struggle here and there but, I think we've shown we're an explosive offensive team and I think our biggest improvements can come on the defensive end.

Has Jeremy got over the trades?

"I just hate to see anybody leave, but in terms of the trade in and of itself, it's not for me to really, really comment, it kind of management's job," he responded. "It was tough for me to see my teammates leave, but we have new guys coming in, I just met a few of them, it's definitely time to turn the page and move on."

Days before the Knicks took on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Thursday night, Knicks small forward, Carmelo Anthony, called his team the laughing stock of the NBA after plummeting to the bottom of the Atlantic Division and losing 9-straight games.

"We are the laughingstock of the league," Anthony said about the rivalry between the two New York teams. "I mean, it's nothing to hide. We are...that's why it's a big game for us."

But it seems as if the tables have turned on the Knicks after they blew out their former point guard Jason Kidd's team. More orange and blue fans filled the Brooklyn arena than black and white and when the Nets hit center court, it seemed as if the Knicks had home court advantage. Fans booed Brooklyn, but no one received a more unwelcome reception than Jason Kidd.

"Put Jason Kidd in," a Knicks fan yelled to the Nets.

Brooklyn played horribly and any true fan should be embarrassed. Thursday's 113-83 blowout loss was the second consecutive loss that Brooklyn fell short by more than 20 points on their home court.

Everything pretty much went wrong for the Nets. The Nets fell behind double digits in the first quarter and though they cut it by less than five in the second quarter, they were never able to regain a lead over the Knicks (4-13.)

But, hey both teams couldn't lose, right? And the better team out of the worst won.

Anthony had a huge night with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points. Shump took to Twitter after the game to pop off to fans about jumping back on the Knicks bandwagon.

He retweeted this message: "Now everybody back on that @I_Am_Iman bandwagon again. Some of y'all kill me."

Meanwhile, Andrea Bargnani showed out and scored 16 points before he was ejected in the fourth quarter for taunting Kevin Garnett after they had a scuffle.

"I don't speak Italian," Garnett said after the game, when asked what Bargnani had said to him.

Brook Lopez ended the night with 24 points and nine rebounds, who again played without injured Paul Pierce and Deron Williams.

Nobody was laughing at the Knicks after Thursday night.

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