Iman Shumpert Off the Wall 360 Dunk

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWBZaajteXU&feature=player_embedded]

Question the Knicks drafting of Iman Shumpert if you want, but his athleticism is unquestioned. The man is a phenomenal athlete. He is 6’6 with length, speed and hops. All of this is on display as Shumpert hits a sick 360 dunk. Enjoy.

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Stoudemire Wins 3 Point Shootout in China

Well Amar’e Stoudemire’s back seems to be in good shape. He is currently vacationing in China and he gave us an update via twitter on what he has been up to:

I just won the Chinese 3 point shoot out In front of 1.4 billion people. From NYC to China. #swag lockerz.com/s/131295944
This is already very impressive, but it is particularly impressive that he has not been doing many basketball related activities this offseason due to his back. I would not mind to see some more 3′s from Stoudemire next season. The 3 point shot is a part of his game that he has showed flashes of but he just consistiently does not take a lot of 3′s. Overall, the contest is a good sign that Stoudermire will be ready to go when and if the season starts.
[Image via @Amareisreal]
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Stoudemire Stars in Nike Educators 2 Commercial

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp7--vgNHk8&feature=player_embedded] Last year, Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire starred in the first edition of Nike’s “The Educators commercial. The commercial was a hit and so this year, Nike decided to come out with “The Educators 2″. Once again Stoudemire stars, this time with Rajon Rondo, Anna Pierce and Blake Griffin. I think the commercial is very entertaining. I would love to have Amar’e as a principal and Rondo is very funny in the commercial. Enjoy.

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Mozgov Slams On Lithuania

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du-H9S2Kx2A&feature=player_embedded#at=12]

I know he does not play for the Knicks anymore but I still am a big Timofey Mozgov fan. I thought it was ludicrous that Dolan got him thrown into the Melo deal. We would have been a much more complete team the rest of the year with Mozgov in the starting 5. Playing for Russia against Lithuania and Mozgov had a monster slam. The announcers make this clip truly great. Enjoy.

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Carmelo Anthony Foundation Inaugurates Puerto Rico Sports Center

Amar’e Stoudemire is not the only New York Knick superstar helping other people. On Monday, children from the Lomas housing project in Puerto Rico will be able to enjoy playing basketball at the new sports center reconstructed by Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. This is the second sports center reconstructed in the Caribbean by the Carmelo Anthony Foundation. The other was opened in July 2010 in the San Juan district of La Perla. Some of the improvements include acrylic backboards, new paint jobs and a roof for the sports center. Anthony, whose father was Puerto Rican, said his organization looked at many courts but chose this one because it was “almost perfect” for developing the game.

This is great to hear that Carmelo is proactive in using his stature to help others as well. I always believe athletes of his stature should do all they can to help people in need. In this era of lockouts and disputes over millions of dollars, I love to see that people still help the less fortunate and use their stature to help others. Like Amar’e, I hope Carmelo can continue to make the most of his talents and help others.

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Stoudemire Working With Scholastic on New Kids’ Book Series

New York Knicks Superstar Amar’e Stoudemire has signed on with Scholastic Books to produce his own kids’ chapter book series. STAT: Standing Tall and Talented is scheduled to be released in August 2012. The series is based on the life of Stoudemire and how he overcame a poor upbringing to become an NBA superstar. The series is made for middle school level children as Stoudemire is committed to converting more young children into readers. Stoudemire’s mission statement:

“I am excited to create my book series with Scholastic. They are the best in the business so I trust them with my stories. I decided to write for children because although I am an avid reader now, I wish I had read more as a child. I hope that together with Scholastic, we can creatively inspire a new generation to read.”

Once again I am impressed with Stoudemire. I have written before about how he should be an inspiration to children for overcoming what he has overcome and I think it is great that he can now tell his story to the masses through his books. Once again Stoudemire is using his basketball stature to create opportunities for himself outside of basketball and help other people. Stoudemire’s hard work outside of basketball is inspirational and I wish him the best of luck with his new book line.

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Billups Cleared for Basketball Workouts

Alan Hahn of Newsday has reported that Chauncey Billups finally has been cleared for basketball workouts after suffering a strained knee ligament in game 1 of the playoffs versus the Celtics.

“Chauncey Billups, who suffered a bruised knee late in G1 vs BOS, was cleared this week to resume full workouts, Newsday has learned. #fb”
This is great news to hear in that Billups now has 7 weeks until training camp is scheduled to start. Obviously with the lockout, there is a good possibility that training camp will be wiped out but Billups will be ready to go if it remains. Now that Billups is seemingly healthy, the attention turns to Amar’e Stoudemire who still has not fully recovered from his back injury also suffered against Boston.
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Remembering the Willis Reed Tunnel

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84v5cazK8lc]

As Marc Berman of the NY Post reports, the famous Willis Reed tunnel has been knocked out by the Madison Square Garden transformation. The tunnel has been replaced with center court seats and the Knicks will now enter the arena through a corner tunnel. James Dolan wants to start a new tradition of the players entering the court through the Delta Sky360Club where elite season-ticket holders can view the players running out of the tunnel. As great as that sounds, it is sad to see the famous center court tunnel go as the Garden is the last arena to have the center court tunnel.

Above is a video remembering the Willis Reed game in which he played injured to lead the Knicks to the 1970 NBA Championship.

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Earl Clark Signs in China

Well cross another potential Knicks free agent off the list. Former Orlando Magic forward Earl Clark has signed on to play in China next season. Clark is a free agent so there was no pressure for him to have an opt out clause. Even if there is an NBA season next year, Clark will be playing in China. He joins Joe Alexander as a player I wanted the Knicks to look at who will now be playing overseas next year. I wanted Clark to be a Knick because he is athletic and is a solid defensive player. I believe right now, he is an upgrade over Derrick Brown who is a work in progress. Shawne Williams is a free agent and will need to be re-signed. Clark would have been a great fit at the backup 3 but he will not be a Knick next season.

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Patrick Ewing Still Hopes to Work for the Knicks One Day

Knicks hall of fame center Patrick Ewing appeared on “the Mike Lupica” show today and discussed a possible return to the garden. The interview can be heard here.

The 49 year old is an assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic. Last month, Ewing interviewed with the Detroit Pistons about their head coaching vacancy. The job was ultimately given to Lawrence Frank. Ewing said in the interview that he would like to return to the Knicks as a coach one day:

“I hope that one day I get to come back home because I do live in this area, I still consider this my area, I still consider myself a Knick. Hopefully one day I’ll be brought back here,”

Having been one of the dominant defensive players of all time, Ewing should bring a lot of defensive prowess to coaching. He is also the Knicks career scoring leader so clearly he knows something about offense. Could he have a coaching future with the New York Knicks? I loved in the interview how Ewing talked about the prejudice that guards are smarter than centers.

“People think that just because you’re a center, you’re not as smart as the guards or the smaller guys. I think that’s a load of crap. When I played with the Knicks, I was just as important or just as smart as any other of the guards I played with. I still had to call out plays, notice schemes, know the systems, do everything they had to do.”

I think Ewing is 100% right. One great example of this is former Knick point guard Mark Jackson. Jackson, 46, is 3 years younger then Ewing yet he is already a head coach. Ewing has been an assistant coach since 2007 while Jackson had never coached in any capacity prior to the Golden State job. I am not saying that Ewing should be a coach and Jackson should not. I do not believe Ewing is head coach material yet, I believe down the road he will be. I just believe he needs a bit more experience and I would like to see how he does in an expanded role, maybe as a defensive coordinator/assistant coach? There is one team that has a big glaring need at that position, oh yea, the New York Knicks.

Why shouldn’t Ewing be the Knicks defensive coordinator? I think he is more than qualified to fill that role. I would much rather have Ewing, a former player, coaching up Carmelo and Amar’e than a coach who does not hold the respect of the players. I always believe that ex-player coaches hold more respect with todays NBA players than most other coaches do. I doubt Ewing will even be considered for D’Antoni’s coordinator job, especially if Mike Woodson impressed D’Antoni in his interview, but I would love to see them at least give him a chance to interview.

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