NEW YORK -- Last month, during a taping of an interview with new Houston Rocket Dwight Howard, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said off the record that New York Knicks owner James Dolan wanted to trade Iman Shumpert because the 23-year-old guard initially didn't want to participate in this year's Las Vegas Summer League. The video was somehow captured from a satellite feed and quickly went viral.
Shumpert, talking to reporters on Wednesday, said he isn’t "concerned" about whether Dolan is still irritated at him, feeling the topic was blown out of proportion.
"That’s fine; that’s the media," said Shumpert, who attended the Delta Open Table Tennis Tournament in Madison Square Park. "Things get blown up in this day and age, with social media; it’s crazy. That video got out there and stuff happens. I’m happy to be a Knick. I’m worried about business."
Shumpert also isn't worried about where he fits in the rotation next season. Last week, Mike Woodson said that while Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are locked-in starters, two spots were up for grabs. That came as a surprise, because Shumpert started all last season and was predicted to play alongside Felton. But Woodson's remarks didn't faze Shump.
"It doesn't matter what position they put me at; I've just got to make sure that I come out and play right," he said. "It's our jobs as players to make sure that we're at the highest level we can play at as a basketball player, and it's up to coach Woody to make those decisions. ... I just want to win."
Shumpert spoke in detail about his play last season, and he mainly wants to improve his aggressiveness. He even tweeted out those sentiments recently after watching game tape of the 2012-13 campaign.
"As I go back and look at the film, if I look at my first year, every time I caught the ball I was looking to do something," he said. "When I looked at my second year when I first came back, a lot of times I just wasn't aggressive. I would catch the ball and just be on my heels instead of my toes. ... But that's what film is for, that's what summer is for."
Overall, Shumpert feels like he made "strides and improvements in every part" of his game this offseason.
"Now, it's just putting it all together and being consistent throughout a year," he said. "I think it will be good this year just being able to have a training camp, being able to be with the guys the whole year."
Shumpert was also asked about Paul Pierce's recent comments about a Nets takeover in New York City. Shump responded by saying, "The Knicks will worry about the Knicks. We'll talk during the season." He's more focused on his team's upgrades, acquiring Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih.
"It's great," Shumpert said of the additions. "We've got guys that can play basketball. Whenever you can add guys that can play basketball, it doesn't really matter what team they're on; they just know how to play. I think we're just adding more and more pieces to the puzzle, and I'll be excited to get to training camp and work out with all the guys. It's going to be a lot of fun."
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