- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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So why did Marcus Camby pick the Knicks over the Heat?
There were several reasons. Money, of course, was one of them.
But the reason Camby cited in a recent radio interview is sure to get Knicks fans fired up.
"To be honest, I always prided myself on being a Knick. I remember all of those rivalries and heated skirmishes (with the Heat) we had back in the day so I couldn't see myself being a part of that team," Camby said in an interview Tuesday with the internet radio show Hard2Guard.
"Especially coming back here … into the Garden. I didn't want to be a villain. So this is a great situation for me."
Of course, the fact that the Knicks gave Camby a three-year, $13.2 million deal couldn't have hurt either.
But it's interesting that Camby cited his pride in the Knicks as one reason he declined the invite to join LeBron James' party in South Beach.
Miami made a strong push to acquire the 38-year-old veteran. Camby would have given the Heat the interior toughness that the NBA champs lacked at times last year. But Camby instead chose to return to New York.
"I just felt the situation was right," he said. "... Everything comes full circle."
The Knicks officially announced their acquisition of Camby on Wednesday. New York sent guard Toney Douglas, center Jerome Jordan, forward Josh Harrellson and second-round picks in 2014 and 2015 to Houston to get Camby.
Camby told the radio show that GM Glen Grunwald, assistant GM Allan Houston and head coach Mike Woodson put together a "great" presentation to recruit him to New York.
Camby, a 16-year veteran, said he's perfectly comfortable backing up Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire in a reserve role.
"I'm not trying to come here and step on anyone's toes. I've been a starter every year in my career but I don't have a problem coming in here and playing alongside or backing up Tyson or Amare or any of those guys," said Camby, who played in New York from 1998-2001 and was a key part of the Knicks team that made a run to the 1999 NBA Finals.
"... I feel like I'm still capable of doing a lot of things, even despite my age, and being back home and playing in front of the Garden will definitely add a lot of inspiration."
Click here to listen to the full interview (it starts at the 18:50 mark).
COPELAND IN THE MIX: The Knicks are going to give Chris Copeland a shot.
New York signed the former University of Colorado standout to a non-guaranteed contract and gave him an invite to veteran's camp, according to his agent, John Spencer.
Copeland, a 6-8 power forward, will play with the Knicks' summer league team in Las Vegas and will have a shot to make the team during training camp.
The Newark native won the Belgium Ethias League MVP award while averaging 20.1 points per game while shooting 59.6% from the field during EuroChallenge competition last season.
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